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In Case You Missed It -- Exodus 35-36, Psalm 51

Since the rest of Exodus focuses on Israel obeying God and building the tabernacle as commanded in Exodus 24-31, I will focus on Psalm 51 today. However, in Exodus 36:5-7, note that Israel eagerly responds to God’s lovingkindness and brings more offerings than necessary, reflecting a revival in Israel.

Israel’s great King David wrote today’s psalm after committing great sin. Since we will read that story later, it is enough to say that you will be appalled if you don’t already know his crimes. In this psalm, David begins by asking for renewal of heart and mind, accompanied by pardon for sin. Clearly, he knows that the only prayer for forgiveness that he has—his sole hope of escaping severe punishment for these sins—rests on God’s unfailing love and His great compassion. In the same way, in our past readings, when Moses asked God to spare Israel from destruction, his hope relied on God’s character and goodness alone (Exodus 32:11-13). We must remember that our hopes in prayer are completely founded on the goodness and power of God. Moses and David, two of Israel’s greatest leaders, encountered God and knew His Holiness and uprightness. They learned that only God’s eternal love could stay His hand from justice. May we be a people that know as our only hope the unfailing love of God and learn to appeal to God’s great compassion often in prayer.

Jeremiah Vaught