Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. Psalm 69:20
The Psalmist knew human nature. He knew that we are often punished for the breadth of a lifetime for mistakes we’ve made. Grace, even from Christians, can be absent.
Some families don’t forget words spoken in a scathing argument, even though the blowup might have been twenty years ago. People in our hometowns may gossip about the choices we made in our teens whenever we come home to visit. Even church congregations have a way of reminding us of the sins for which we’ve already repented. Many of us probably knows what it’s like to wear a scarlet letter.
God, because of His mercy, loves to offer a clean slate on the other side of forgiveness. People just don’t give that kind of gift easily. We are fragile beings, petrified of being hurt again or being made to look like a fool again. God is so different. He will grant me unconditional pardon even in the face of the high probability that I’ll sin the same way again. Will He be hurt when it happens? Yes. But even then, He won’t compile all my previously confessed sins and use the great number of them as a way of disqualifying my next act of repentance.
The Psalmist is breaking under the heavy burden of blame. He wants God to change the minds of the ones who are throwing stones. Since God is the one who can turn the hearts of kings and princes however He wishes, the Psalmist knows that God can also change the mindset of those who point fingers. Perhaps they will look at their own sin and remember how much they need God’s forgiveness. Whether they will or not, God will be there for this lamenter to offer a supernatural peace that sustains him.
Are you around someone who refuses to extend mercy? Does their reproach cause you to hate yourself? Perhaps you feel that God is also your constant accuser, never letting you forget your past even though you’ve begged for His forgiveness. You and I must always remember that Satan can sound like the Spirit of God. He has been quite successful at disguising his voice and donning righteous robes. He suggests that reviewing our sin is really holy conviction when it’s nothing more than nasty accusations against forgiven children of God. Don’t be fooled. Hold your head high and throw off the shame. Joy and peace are on the other side.
I dread being around people that never let me live the past down. Oh, that’s not You, Lord. Yesterday’s failures are a forgotten subject. I am standing tall in the light of new mercy. In Jesus name, Amen