Psalm 106 is amazing. It talks about God’s steadfast love even when Israel was rebellious and unfaithful. It has been an encouragement and a beautiful reminder of God’s grace. This part (v36-39) in particular really blows my mind:
They served idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons; they poured innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood, thus they became unclean by their acts, and played the whore in their deeds.
The Israelites had become beyond unclean! Their sins against God seem to be the worst of the worst. Not just murdering (as sinful and evil as that is) but murdering children- in the name of idolatry. They were sacrificing their children to demons! How much worse can sin get? Their sin was BIG-there’s no way around it.
Here, anybody caught doing something like that would justly be put into prison if not condemned to death themselves. These would be just sentences for their crimes. It would be right for these things to take place. Concerning the Israelites, God did deliver them to be oppressed by their enemies. But his hand does not stop there. If we read further, God in his grace saved these undeserving, murderous, idolatrous, people (44-46):
Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress, when he had heard their cry. For their sake he remembered his covenant, and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love. He caused them to be pitied by all those who held them captive.
God did not have to save them. He would have been perfectly just and perfectly good if he had not relented but kept them in their oppression. They deserved that. But God is a gracious God.
In comparison, we have never sacrificed a baby to an idol, but because God is Holy even the “smallest” of sin offends Him and it is rightly punished with Hell. But God is a gracious God. He’s so gracious that he sent Jesus to die for sinners. We do not have to be condemned to hell if we will call on the precious name of Jesus.
As I read this story, I’m amazed at the grace of Jesus. If God relents on a whoring, murderous and idolatrous people then we must believe that there’s no sin bigger than His grace in Christ Jesus-not even sacrificing babies to demons.
This song fits my praise:
Wonderful grace of Jesus
Deeper than the mighty rolling seas…
Bigger than my sins,
Greater than my shame,
O magnify the precious name of Jesus
Praise His name! Praise His name! Praise His name!
Let’s praise His name!
(This song was on the "Village Worship" CD-let it edify you too. It's free. )