On grace and responsibility

You probably know the drill by now. Today’s daily bread comes from 2 Samuel 22:17-20 and talks about God’s watchful eye over us. In this section of scripture, David describes how God rescued him from deep waters because He delighted in him not because He felt obligated to.

When you read the whole of 2 Samuel 22, the imagery employed by David is of a God who is extremely upset that His child is being persecuted (2 Samuel 22: 7-20). The way David describes it, God swoops down in extreme wrath and scoops him out of peril. Y’alls. It don’t get any more romantic than that. It’s better than Superman and Lois Lane. DC Comics ain’t got nothing on God. In Isaiah 43, God tells us:

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;  I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.

God loves us! We are the apple of his eye and whosoever touches us will have His hand raised against them (Zechariah 2:8-9). Rest in His protective love. You are His and that means you are loved, you are precious and you are cherished. Accept it, believe it and never forget it.

Apart from the above, another striking excerpt is found in 2 Samuel 22:21-25. David states:

“The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
I am not guilty of turning from my God.
All his laws are before me;
I have not turned away from his decrees.
I have been blameless before him
and have kept myself from sin.
The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to my cleanness in his sight.

My initial reaction was: “You do remember Bathsheba right? How you gonna claim that your hands are clean?” But then it hit me:

David’s cleanness is not based on David. It’s based on God’s view of him.

In verse 25, David takes his statement about clean hands a step further by stating that:

The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to my cleanness in his sight.

1 John 1:9 states that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. In fact, Psalm 103:12 states that God removes our transgressions from us as far as the east is from the west and Isaiah 1:18 states that our scarlet sins will be made white as snow. Also, once forgiven, He remembers our sin no more ( Isaiah 43:25). This means, David’s repentance post-Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 12 guaranteed his cleanness.

This is quite interesting because we sometimes have a hard time forgetting our sins. We beat ourselves up for things that happened years ago or even as recently as an hour ago. Things we have repented and asked forgiveness for. Things He remembers no more because He has forgiven us. So here is my question: if God has forgotten about it and no longer counts it against us, why can’t we do the same for ourselves? Increasingly, I am beginning to realize that beyond asking for God’s forgiveness, I need to forgive myself. As crazy as it sounds, sometimes we are harder on ourselves than God is. It is one of the reasons we should thank God that no human being is God.

One other thing to note in this scripture is how David completely owns the grace accorded to him. One could argue that He has so believed in God’s forgiving grace and mercy that he sees himself exactly how God sees him – as clean. As I think about this, I realize I have some work to do in completely accepting and resting in God’s grace. In seeing myself and referring to myself the way He sees and refers to me.

Having dealt with the grace God accords us for our sins, we then come to the issue of responsibility. In 2 Samuel 22:26-28, Davis basically reiterates Galatians 6:7 : Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.  Let’s go back to 2 Samuel 22:21-25. David talks about being clean in God’s sight. Yes. However, he also talks about actions he, David, has taken:

For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
I am not guilty of turning from my God.
All his laws are before me;
I have not turned away from his decrees.
I have been blameless before him
and have kept myself from sin.

You actions or inactions reap consequences. As 2 Samuel 22:26-28 states: you want to experience God’s faithfulness, be faithful. You have a responsibility to act on the faith you have in God and not abuse the grace accorded to you.  Deuteronomy 7: 9-10 states:

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction;
he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him.

He wants to show you His goodness. He is constantly on the look out for opportunities to do so (2 Chronicles 16:8-9) but you need to position yourself to receive it. Love Him and keep His commandments.

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