Our sins have been blotted out. The cross has wiped them completely out of God's book. But until we die, we still have the old man of sin, and we also have the motions of sin in our flesh. Therefore, we so quickly go back to the sins from which we turned. We fall again into sin.
'The history of Israel reveals this so clearly. They turned to idolatry, and God sent them into the captivity in Babylon. There they repented, and God returned them to the promised land. It did not take long before they were back in idolatry. That is why the psalmist in Psalm 126:4 after speaking of the great things God did for them by returning them to Palestine, now prays, "Turn again the captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south." ' Our versification states it this way:
Again refresh us Lord With
Thy reviving love,
And be Thy blessings poured
In mercy from above;
By grace revive our hearts again,
As streams refreshed by copious rain.
Did you notice that word ''again"? It is used twice. And truly time and again we need to have hearts that are revived. We do, by God's grace, become sorry for our sins; but as Paul writes in Romans 7:19-24, "For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil that I would not, that do I. . . . O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"
So it is, day after day. We must flee daily to God and ask Him to turn our captivity, our bondage in sin and in Satan's clutches, and to turn us back to obedience and works of love to Him.
If we do not see this need, then it is even more evident that we have returned to the bondage of sin. Then the riverbed of service to God is dry, and we need the copious rain of God's grace and mercy to refresh us. If we do see this we will earnestly pray for the putting down of the old man of sin and the reviving of the new man in Christ. Do that. By all means do that today!
Devotions on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalm 36
Why not sing along?
Quote for Reflection:
¼ Little did either David or Joab at that moment realize how completely they were misjudging the situation. They had both been much better off if they had stayed with their original inclinations, or better yet, if they had consulted more closely with God as they had in the early days of their labors. – Rev. B.Woudenberg [SB – Vol.24, pg. 252]
- Date: 13-February