The eighteenth century English poet, Alexander Pope, wrote, “To err is human; to forgive divine.” Many great writers and thinkers through the centuries have agreed; making mistakes is part of being human. The only way to keep from making mistakes might be to do nothing, and I am quite sure doing nothing is a mistake, too!
Sometimes we wilfully act in error, perhaps because of fear or greed or misuse of power. Sometimes we inadvertently do the wrong thing, often with the best of intentions. And we may never even know our own weaknesses and faults.
The psalmist points out that the whole universe, God’s creation, speaks to us of God’s glory and wisdom, teaching us without words or speech. (verses 1-6) And just as the sun energizes the earth and makes life possible, God’s instruction or law revives us, enlightens us, and gives us wisdom and joy. (verses 7-10) God has given us everything we need to live joyful and faithful lives.
But even if we hear all God’s instruction and wisdom, it will not keep us from making mistakes. We’re human! At times like these, we realize with the psalmist that we need God’s forgiveness.
Gracious God, you have given us a beautiful universe, instruction to live our lives faithfully, and forgiveness when we make mistakes. We rejoice! Amen. — JN