Faithfulness; October 4, 2020

Psalm 145:13 The Lord is faithful to all His promises
and loving toward all He has made.

I was attracted to this part of the Psalm, but when I went to type in the Japanese it was missing! Then I looked at the footnotes and found that this section is found in one manuscript of the Masoretic Text, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Syriac, and the Septuagint, but not in most manuscripts of the Masoretic text. That is all the stranger because this is one of the many acrostic Psalms, with each verse starting with the succeeding letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and not having this part leaves a gap. I’m grateful that we have multiple sources by which to confirm the text, but it’s very sad to have evidence that much Scripture copying was essentially mindless, without thought and contemplation of what was being written. Coupled with the content here, that tells me that God is faithful but man is not, and that’s something we need to remember. People will disappoint us, in one way or another, always. We disappoint ourselves! It is genuinely refreshing when people do keep their promises and don’t disappoint us, but we need to remember our own weaknesses when that doesn’t happen. That’s why we need to be constant and consistent in our dependence on God. As Jesus said so very clearly, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) One of the great hymns of the faith is Great Is Thy Faithfulness. God’s faithfulness is in often stark contrast to human unfaithfulness, so we’ve got to stay fixed on the Rock of our salvation.

In teaching Medical English to Japanese, when I get to the word “confidence” I tell my students I don’t like the Japanese equivalent. That’s because it’s written with the characters for “self” and “belief.” In other words, believing in yourself. I tell them I don’t do that, because I’ll always disappoint myself. Instead I believe in God, and He gives me assurance to keep going in spite of my weaknesses. Pride has been a major pitfall for me all my life. God has gifted me in many areas, and I have been tempted to rely on the gift instead of on the Giver. That doesn’t work! However, dealing with my own unfaithfulness and unreliability has given me more empathy for those around me, making it easier for me to forgive them. After all, God has forgiven me much more! I am eternally grateful that I serve a totally faithful God.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the person who came by yesterday to ask forgiveness of Cathy and me for an incident now several years in the past. We had simply moved on, praying for her occasionally when we thought of her, but her life was largely wrecked by the attitudes that brought on the incident. I do pray that what was said and done here yesterday would enable her to listen to You instead of to the devil, and that she would be able to forgive herself, accepting Your forgiveness, so that she may be set free indeed, for her blessing and the blessing of all those around her, and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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