“What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins deserved” (Ezra 9:13).
I remember throwing the football in the house as a kid. I was throwing the touchdown pass to my sister but she didn’t catch it. I threw it over her head. And hit my mom’s collection of fancy things. And I broke a bowl that her mom had passed down to her.
What happened was my fault. I couldn’t blame it on my sister and I certainly couldn’t blame it on my mom. And yet my mom was not angry with me. She was upset that the bowl was broken. It was special to her. But she didn’t take it out on me. And she even cleaned up the mess I made, the broken shards of her bowl I broke.
I’m thankful my mom showed kindness even though I didn’t deserve it. But I’m especially thankful that God shows kindness even when we don’t deserve it. God, since the beginning, has punished us less than our sins deserve.
God even takes the consequences of our sin upon Himself in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ. Upon Him was the punishment that brings us peace (See Isaiah 53). The wages of sin is death and eternal separation from God in whom alone there is life, yet Jesus takes the wages upon Himself and pays the price we owed.
God has compassion on us and through Jesus casts our sin into the depth of the sea (Micah 7:19). Jesus removes our sin from us, as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). God does not give us as our sins deserve. He gives grace.
We deserve to be paid death for the sin and ruin we’ve worked (Romans 6:23). That’s our due. Yet, God has “punished us less than our sins deserved” (Ezra 9:13).
Every day and every good thing is an undeserved gift of God. From the smile of a dog to the sip of cider, it’s all an undeserved gift from God. Every good and perfect gift comes from our Father above (James 1:17). And it’s a gift because it is underserved. We did not earn it.
*Photo by Alvan Nee