Stuck in a Spiral of Sin
Pastor Troy Medlin
O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
When God restores the fortunes of his people,
Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad. Psalm 53:6
God will not leave us in the mess we have made for ourselves. God is faithful. Being a promise keeper is at the core of Yahweh’s identity. The God whom the psalmist testifies to is one who acts on our behalf, does not reject us, and will not forsake God’s people. No matter how far we wander.
Left on our own we seem to be stuck in a never-ending spiral of sin. Our foolish ways on full display. Like the character in Psalm 53 we “say in our heart, there is no God.” Often, we do this without even thinking about it. We trust in ourselves and in the wisdom of this world more times than we care to admit. We give in to the false-promises of a world where we are the master of our lives. We live for the moment and for ourselves. Yet ultimately this leaves us lost and alone with nothing to show for it. Things seem hollow and empty here.
The psalmist, putting words to this spiral and its eventual destination, cries out for deliverance. The writer reminds us that God will restore the fortunes of God’s people. This is the hope our Lenten journey leads us towards. We are headed to the ultimate declaration of our promise-keeping God in the now fertile garden of resurrection where we are planted. There, God has gone all the way down into death and found us and delivered us. God has interrupted our spiral of sin with salvation and life. When we are faithless God is always faithful. In our lostness we are ever found. In our foolishness we are completely loved all the way home. God will never leave us alone. Our once empty hearts now filled to the brim with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Holy God, apart from you nothing is true, nothing is holy. Do not look on our faithless ways, but on the faithfulness of your Son. Deliver us from doing evil, remove the shame of your people, and restore us to joy and gladness; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Psalm prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship