Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity. Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry: And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies.
A lot of the stories in Scripture demonstrate the utter failure of man and the faithfulness of God. They show our continual failure and His continual mercy. There is such a contrast sometimes between the actions of God’s people and the actions of God. We fall. We mess up. We go astray. We disobey. We wander around hardly paying any attention to Him. But He doesn’t treat us that way. Israel had strayed and complained, doubted and murmured and bowed down to idols, but He still saw them, He heard them, and He responded to them.
When Adam sinned, God could have cast him away, but He didn’t. When Israel chased their idols, God could have destroyed the whole nation, but He didn’t. When He sent the flood, He spared Noah. He brought Lot out of Sodom. He sent Jonah to Nineveh. And rightfully, He could have just let the whole world crumble under its collective sin, but He sent Jesus instead.
What an amazing God we serve. What an infinitely merciful God we can honor in our lives. His faithfulness is unmatched. How glorious His promises are, and we can stand so surely on them despite our many weaknesses. Time and time again we prove our own unworthiness, and He just counters that with His grace and love. Because His mercy is something He chooses to give—and not because of anything at all worthy within us. And surely He deserves as much praise and affection and service as we can muster.
Are we standing on the promises of God? They are the most stable and sure foundation we will ever find. Though we may fail Him, He will never fail us. Though we forget and go astray, He never does. Though it is unmerited, He showers His mercy on us. And doesn’t just realizing that make us want to do better for Him, to try harder, to be more committed? But more than that, does it make us want to know Him better and love Him better? Let’s not take His goodness for granted and continue to provoke Him after all He has done for us.