“David comforted his wife Bathsheba, came to her, and went to bed with her. She gave birth to a son and named him Solomon. Adonai loved him and sent through Nathan the prophet to have him named Jedidiah (loved by God), for Adonai’s sake.” ~ 2nd Samuel 12:24-25
The book of 2nd Samuel and subsequent books of Kings, I find difficult to read. It’s a painful reminder of the fall and depravity of man. How we utterly fail time and time again to behave righteously and God honoring. And on top of that, suffer with the consequences of our sin and promote it on to the next generation. How sad for us! And what a sad lot we are! For we don’t even recognize it while we are sitting in it. We’re like pigs who glory in the muck, unaware just how dirty the muck is. Yet, we are completely at home in it. It is only by the grace of God that we are made aware of it by His Holy Spirit.
David’s was an awful mess. One that ,even though 1,000’s of years detached from it, I still cringe reading his story. It’s easy to sit there and look on with an air of “How could you, David?”. Yet it was to God that this act was the ultimate offense. However, God, although disciplining David, still gave him Solomon. The scripture says God gave him his own special name, Jedidiah, meaning loved by God. God loved him that much. Loved an offspring bore from an unholy, unrighteous circumstance. Loved him and blessed him even knowing to what extent Solomon would ultimately walk away from God himself to pursue his own pleasure and other gods.
I will leave that where it’s at for now. I mostly just want to share how in awe I am that, in our most disgusting of messes, God still chooses to love us and comes to meet us in our mess. It is by His grace that He makes us aware of our messes. Then, He provides the way to be clean. We just accept His offer and then willingly walk away from our filth. Knowing just how sinful we are. Knowing how we will betray Him time and time again. He still chose to save us. He still chooses to love us now.
We like this truth. It gives us hope and comfort. So, my brothers and sisters, why do we so easily accept this grace, this gift of God, and yet not so eagerly extend it to each other within the church body? We have become like pigs each sitting in their own mud holes pointing to each other how dirty the other’s muck hole is.
I all but hear the prayer in the air by the “righteous” man, “Thank you, God, I’m not like that sinner over there.” May we not be like that man! If God, by His grace and through the power of the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, righteousness and judgement, shouldn’t we be trusting Him to do His job to complete the good work that He set out to do? Shouldn’t we be more focusing on and asking Him to convict and complete the good work in us? Where is the grace for each other? The same grace for believer and unbeliever alike. We demand it for one group while completely ignoring it for another.
The more I look at God’s standard, the more aware I become that I fall short of it. I require grace daily and it is by His grace that I am even aware of it. It is by His grace that I even have a desire to extend it. And it is by His grace that I can even tap into it as a resource so that I can do so to those around me.
Bottom line, as it seems like daily there are new morals, laws, and works added to the list one must act on in order to be considered “righteous”, let us remember that our “righteousness” apart from Christ are like filthy rags. We will never be good enough on this side of eternity and the righteousness we do walk in is by the grace and love of God pulling us out of our filth. So let’s strive to remember that and extend the same grace to our brothers and sisters. Interceding for them in the areas where there may be weaknesses or lack of maturity, trusting in the Holy Spirit to do His job. Extending to them the same grace that we need, as well, for our own weaknesses and lack of maturity.
“Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.“But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” ~ Luke 18:9-14