What He is, He Does

Commenting on the beginning of Psalm 106 St. Gregory of Nyssa teaches;

“For he begins immediately by saying, Give thanks to the Lord,for he is good, for his mercy endures for ever (Ps 106.1).’ Exomologesis is to be understood here in the sense of thanksgiving, not in the sense of confession. He exhorts us here to glorify God for his goodness alone, indicating that all the good and saving events which men have received from God have all been received on the basis of his grace and goodness. Although we offered no reason for the good, no rather, on the contrary, we were totally in evil, He has not abandoned his own nature, but what He is, this He also does. For it was not likely that he who is good by nature would bring about something contrary to what he was by nature.” St. Gregory of Nyssa, On The Inscriptions of The Psalms, Chapter 8.

Psalm 106 goes on then to mention the favour which God has towards His people even in spite of their sin. It recounts the episodes of Israel in Egypt, then delivered from Egypt in the wilderness, constantly drifting between a life with God and a life of Idolatry despite the mighty works done for them. Is this not reminiscent of our state? Are we not Israel too? Seeing the great works and tender love of God and yet fawning over the delights of this world. Have we not been delivered from difficult circumstances only to forget the one who delivered us? May we take this opportunity for reflection and repentance and a true return to God. Will we be the same after the COVID-19 crisis is over? Only time will tell but if Israel is the type then we must be wary that we not fall back into our old habits. Psalm 106 ends on a mention of hope, the hope that we have in Christ;

“Nevertheless He regarded their affliction,
When He heard their cry;
And for their sake He remembered His covenant,
And relented according to the multitude of His mercies.
He also made them to be pitied
By all those who carried them away captive.
Save us, O Lord our God,
And gather us from among the Gentiles,
To give thanks to Your holy name,
To triumph in Your praise.” Psalm 106.44-47.

May this adverse circumstance be to our salvation in some way that we may turn and give thanks to His Holy Name and triumph in His Praise.

Glory to God!


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