September 9, 2020 

Psalm 103:8-13 … “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.” vs. 10

Probably each of us have heard someone say these words: “The Lord is going to get you for that!” More often than not such things are said in jest, and are meant as a joke, but occasionally they’re said in dead seriousness. The speaker sincerely wants the hearer to know that whatever has been said or done is deeply offensive, and is deserving of God’s wrath. And even if such threats are never made, many people have internalized the theology that breeds such comments. They believe in their hearts that God is keeping watch over them at all times and that when they sin, God will strike quickly and pay them back for what they’ve said or done. Such persons will respond to the ugly stuff that happens in their lives by wondering what sin God is getting them for now. The psalmist wrote to counter such notions about God, and to plainly tell his readers that God does not operate in that fashion. Instead God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. We might get punished for what we say or do, but such punishment comes, not from God, but from other human beings–and sometimes we deserve it, though not always. The human justice system is riddled with inequities! But we should never believe that the bad stuff in our lives comes from God–that’s just not who God is!

Thought for the Day: What deserved punishments have I gotten?