Scripture for Daily Encouragement:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you.”
Jeremiah 31: 3
Scripture for Today’s Devotional Study:
“Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of Your righteousness.”
Psalm 51: 14
New International Version
“Why God Loved David” – Part XXI
“He (she) who seeks any other thing in religion than God alone and the salvation of his (her) soul will find nothing there but trouble and sorrow.”
Thomas á Kempis
Have I ever confused believing in myself with thinking I could save myself?
How does the concept of self-worth relate to the word “salvation”?
“If we seek God for our own good and profit, we are not seeking God.”
“He (she) who begins by seeking God within himself (herself) may end by confusing himself (herself) with God.”
B. B. Warfield
“Salvation”: In Hebrew, defined as: Deliverance, safety, prosperity.
He was the king of Israel and Judah. His word was law. He was God’s chosen. And yet, when David looked at his hands, they were bloodied by the death of an innocent man – Uriah. And when David looked deep into his heart, he realized that the nagging feeling we all get when we have fallen short of “God’s glory”, was his own guilty conscience calling him to repentance.
But there was more. David understood that his evil ways carried a sentence – a death sentence. And so it was, with the knowledge that his gross deeds called for the verdict of death, David went to the only person he could. The person who could pardon – and how I love this word pardon! Don’t you?
Before we look at what “pardon” meant to David, let’s look at the word, “salvation”. I want to begin by taking a moment to reflect on what happens in your life and mine when we falter, stumble and sin. In the case of David, his sin was no small error. What’s more, the consequences of his sin were life-altering, not only for David but for his family and the nation he ruled.
At the point where David came to the recognition of how his evil sin was a destruction of his relationship with his heavenly Father, which is what sin truly is at its core, David had several options open to himself, as we all do when our sins force us to confront the evil we retain in our hearts.
First, David could have tried to ignore his behavior and just continue living his life as though nothing wrong had ever happened. People do this all the time. In fact, you may have run into some individuals who have dealt with their evil behavior in just this manner. Having done a lot of water skiing in my life, I liken this to a boat speeding down a lake with a driver who keeps their face forward, never looking behind themselves or turning their head sideways. Instead, with face forward, speeding ahead through the water, they ignore what’s in their way or what they may have hit as they plow ahead, willfully unaware of the destruction they have caused. David didn’t do this for we find right in the beginning of Psalm 51, David asked God to blot out his transgression or as The Message Bible so descriptively states: “Wipe out my bad record. Scrub away my guilt” (Psalm 51: 1). David didn’t go to God and try to sugar-coat his evil deed or even make some excuse. He admitted what he had done was wrong.
Second, David could have tried a different technique, which I honestly admit I’ve tried, unsuccessfully I’ll add, a few times in my own life. This is the technique that as a horse-rider I call, “pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps.” This is a remedy for the strongest among us. But if you aren’t strong enough to fix yourself, too bad for you. Here’s the basic problem with the “I can fix myself” method of renewal. Even the strong, like David, have weak spots – those areas where their strength can be turned into weakness. I’ll be honest here, I have weaknesses. I know them well! Others even know them – that’s why I get gifts of chocolate! But I have weaknesses much greater than a box of chocolate bon-bons. And it is impossible, no matter how strong I claim to be or think I am, to find myself in a situation where I’m just not strong enough to do it on my own. Thomas á Kempis wrote a great deal about our search for God and our deep longing for His power in our lives. I have often wondered about some of the spiritual greats down through history who have left a written record that so profoundly shares what I wonder may have been what they learned from their own personal struggles. Thomas á Kempis wrote that if we seek the Lord in all things, we will truly find Him. Then he continued with these wise words of advice, “But if you seek yourself you will find yourself, and that will be your own great loss.” At first I had to read this statement several times but then it hit me – if I think I’m enough, if I rely on myself only, what I will find in the end is that in the moment when I need to be the strongest, when I need the greatest wisdom, when I need the most patience – I won’t have it because I am never enough to save myself. NEVER!
And this brings us to David’s third option. He could ask for salvation from his Saviour.
The Hebrew meaning of salvation is deliverance. When caught in a vile pit of bloodguiltiness, David needed a Deliverer to pull him out and make him clean. He had no ability to help himself and neither do you or I. No matter what we are told about learning to fix ourselves and make ourselves all pretty again, we don’t have what it takes ALL the time. Oh, maybe once in a while, on a day when the sun is shining brightly and everything is all rosy in our lives – on a day like that, maybe all of us could do alright. But when things go wrong and your strength is in shreds, if you are anything like me, look out. I can’t even tie my own shoes – I think you get my point!
This is why any religious philosophy that is based on a fix-yourself premise will only disappoint us in the end. As Thomas á Kempis again penned, “Do not be self-sufficient but place your trust in God.” And this was exactly what David did when in Psalm 51: 14 he implored his Father, “Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me.”
This was not a strong man boasting he could fix himself. This was a humble David who recoiled from the evil within and called on his Savior to deliver him from what he could not fix. I love these precious words by the great evangelist Dwight L. Moody: “The way to be saved is not to delay, but to come and take.” This is what David did when he came to his Father for pardon – the exemption of a convicted person from the penalty of a crime by the power of the executor -- our Deliverer, our Saviour, our Friend, our God.
“Bearing shame and scoffing rude.
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood:
Hallelujah! What a Saviour!”
Philipp Paul Bliss
Below, our affirmation for today is a poem written by George Herbert based on Isaiah 55: 1, 2. This invitation to come to our Saviour is a reflection of David’s longing to be delivered from sin and death in his own life.
“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.” Isaiah 55: 1, 2 (K.J.V.)
“Come ye hither all, whose taste
Is our waste;
Save your cost, and mend your fare.
God is here prepared and dressed,
And the feast,
God, in whom all dainties are.
Come ye hither all, whom wine
Naming you not to your good:
Weep what ye have drunk amiss,
And drink this,
Which before ye drink is blood.
Come ye hither all, whom pain
Bringing all your sins to sight:
Taste and fear not: God is here
In this cheer,
And on sin doth cast the fright.
Come ye hither all, whom joy
While ye graze without your bounds:
Here is joy that drowneth quite
As a flood the lower grounds.
Come hither all, whose love
Is your dove,
And exalts you to the sky:
Here is love, which having breath
Ev’n in death,
After death can never die.
Lord I have invited all,
And I shall
Still invite, still call to thee:
For it seems but just and right
In my sight,
Where is all, there all should be.”
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