It is hard to imagine anyone spending three years with Jesus Christ and still wanting to be important himself, instead of just letting Jesus be important. But we do, and the disciples did even after years of exposure to Jesus' teachings. 

The last stanza of this remarkable psalm is extraordinary. Up to this point all the psalmist's sorrow for sin, repentance, prayer, faith, and hope in God were centered about himself. But in this last stanza, having found forgiveness, he turns to those about him, to Israel, and encourages them to put their "hope in God” too. Why? It is because of God's nature, because with the Lord is unfailing love and full redemption. 

This week's psalm delivers good news, including the points that we looked at yesterday: 1) God's forgiveness is inclusive; and 2) his forgiveness is for now. But there is more. 

Sin is the problem, then. And what the psalmist seeks is forgiveness, which God gives freely. How terrible it would be if all we could expect of God is one who keeps a record of our sins. Suppose that is all God did, keep a record of our sins? Who could stand if he did that? The answer obviously is no one. No one can hope to stand before God on the basis of his works.

We need to recover a sense of sin. We need to discover how desperate our condition is apart from God. We need to know that God's wrath is not an outmoded theological construct, but a terrible and impending reality. We need to come out of our sad fantasy world and begin to tremble before the awesome holiness of our almighty Judge.