Read Psalm 37
Focus on verse 23-24
The word infallible in its shortest definition means “without mistakes”. The word infallible therefore, could be used to describe God, since it is commonly understood that God has not ever, not will ever, make any mistakes. Antithetically, the word fallible could therefore be used to describe humanity. I find it interesting that the word “fallible” has the word “fall” in it. When humanity originally made the choice to disobey God’s instructions in the Garden of Eden, the event is often described as “the fall” since it describes humanity’s fall from grace. One might suggest that this was the beginning of our “fall-ability”.
As diligent as some humans have been in attempting to keep from falling, the history of Israel describes in vivid detail and multiple replays how impossible it is for humans to be infallible no matter how hard we try. In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus instructs those who would follow him to “be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” One might ask why God, knowing that it would be impossible for us to live perfectly according to His laws, would put these expectations upon humanity to do so, and that would be a very good question.
In today’s reading David writes:
The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
when he delights in his way;
though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the Lord upholds his hand. (Psalm 37:23-24)
There are two things that catch my attention in this. First, it would seem our path through this life is not haphazard or random, but established by God – but there is a condition – he establishes our steps WHEN we delight in His way. Now, what does it mean to delight in His way? One thing we can be fairly certain it does not mean is that we live our lives perfectly since there is an assumption in the next verse that we WILL fail. This is the second thing that catches my attention. He assumes that we will fall, BUT…if we delight in His way, the fall won’t be utterly devastating since the Lord will be there to pick us up by the metaphorical hand.
I find this very reassuring to understand that God’s expectation of me is not perfection. His desire of me is that I “delight in His way”. This is a relationship! He wants me to love Him the way He loves me! In this kind of a relationship I begin to understand that my fall-ability is no more of a surprise to Him than His infallibility is to me. It means I know that despite my failures – He still remains faithful in His love for me. The only way the relationship can end is if I choose to end it, and it would seem that it would break His heart if I did. I find this an amazing concept that an infallible God would choose to love fallible humans but I know that it is true, and I am glad that it is true…if it were not true we would all be lost and without hope.