How can a trust that Hashem will surely save me? Perhaps my suffering is punishment for sins that I have performed, as the Rambam states (Teshuva 1:4) regarding severe sins, ‘These are not completely forgiven until afflictions come upon Him.”
The following Pesukim with the commentary of Rav Ibin Yichiya provide us the answer to the above question.
I called to You because You shall answer me, O God. This means… You must answer me because I trust in You. For it is a disgrace to one who is mighty when he doesn’t save one who has taken cover under the shade of his wings… Distinguish Your kind acts to save, with Your right hand, those who take refuge [in You] from those who rise up [against them]. This means: Therefore, because of the trust that I have placed in You, even though all the virtuous deeds that I have performed cannot cleanse the sin without the addition of great afflictions, due to the severity of the sin, You, with Your great and limitless power, perform wonders in Your great kindness and help me and save me. And my power to sin should not be greater than Your power to forgive… (Tehillim 17:6,7 with commentary of Rav Yosef Ibin Yichya)
The above Pesukim make the case that it would be a desecration of Hashem’s name were He not to save one who trusts in Him even from the punishment he deserves for sinning greatly against Him, for it is a disgrace to one who is mighty when he doesn’t save one who takes cover under the shade of his wings! However, this comparison is perplexing. If one places his trust in a king that to save him from another king, we can understand that it is a disgrace if his king doesn’t save him. However, where one has rebelled against his own king and the king is about to meet out his well-deserved punishment, why would it be a disgrace were the king not to save him? All know that he isn’t saving him because he has rebelled and therefore the king doesn’t want to save him. How does it show that, “his power to sin is greater than the kings power to forgive,” in a situation where the king wouldn’t want to forgive?!
The answer is that, true, when a commoner rebels against his king there is no disgrace in the king punishing him despite the sinners trust in the king. However, when the kings own beloved son sinned against him, and everyone knows that the last thing he really wants to do is punish him, as he must according to the law of the land, then if the king were to punish him anyway despite his son’s trust in him, it would be a disgrace to the king, for it would show that due to the laws of the kingdom, “the sons power to sin was greater than the kings power to forgive.”
We are the Kings son, about whom He has testified time and again throughout the Torah, how overwhelmed He is with His love for us. Were He not to save us, even from the punishment for rebelling against Him, it would be a great disgrace to Him for it would show, kaviyachol, that it must be our power to sin is greater than His power to forgive, chas v’shalom!
Other parts to this series: Inspiration in Bitachon