Thursday, January 8, 2009

Another Thought Provoking Grace Gem

I have said before how much I look forward each day to the email that I get each morning from Grace Gems, and that even though every one of them is worth reading, on some days they are just profound and I find myself thinking about what I read all day. Today is one of those days. Today's Grace Gem was an excerpt from Arthur Pink's article David's Terrible Sin, and he asks the question, "Why did God permit David to fall so fearfully and sin so grievously?"

Have you ever asked that question about David? Have you ever asked that question about yourself? Have you ever wondered why God allows us to continue living in this sinful world and why, when He could keep us from sinning (Genesis 20:6), He allows us to still make our own choices and still lets us sin grievously against Him?

I have quoted Romans 8:28 here before and I think that this verse is just as applicable in answering these questions as it is in answering any other question we may have: everything that God allows in our lives has as it ultimate purpose to make us more like Christ. But how does that apply to when we sin? Look at what Arthur Pink had to say:

"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. " Psalm 51:1-2

Why did God permit David to fall so fearfully, and sin so grievously?

One reason may be--that we might have set before our eyes the more clearly--the solemn fact that "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked" (Jeremiah 17:9). Unmistakably plain as the meaning of those words is, uttered by Him who cannot lie--yet how very slow we all are to really receive them at their face value, and acknowledge that they accurately describe the natural state of every human heart! But God has done more than make this bare statement: He has placed on record in His Word-- illustrations, exemplifications, demonstrations of its verity--notably so in allowing us to see the unspeakable wickedness that still remained in the heart of David!

Also, the fearful fall of David, made way for a display of the amazing grace of God, in recovering His fallen people. If we are slow to receive what Scripture teaches concerning the depravity of the human heart and the exceeding sinfulness of sin--we are equally slow to really believe what it reveals about the covenant-faithfulness of God, the efficacy of Christ's blood to cleanse the foulest stain from those for whom it was shed, and the super-abounding grace of Him who is "the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort." Had David never sinned so grievously and sunken so low--he would have never known those infinite depths of mercy which are in the heart of God!

Also, had his terrible sin, his subsequent broken-hearted confession, and his pardon by God, never been placed in the Divine record--many of God's people throughout the centuries would have sunk in abject despair.

Also, thousands, from age to age, have by this solemn example of David's terrible sin, been rendered . . . .
  • more suspicious of themselves,
  • more watchful,
  • more afraid of temptation,
  • more dependent on the Lord,
  • and more fervent in prayer.
By means of David's fall--they have, themselves, been preserved from falling!

Could this not also be the reason that some of us have fallen into terrible sin? Maybe the purpose was so that we would more fully appreciate the redemption that we have in Christ. Or maybe it is just so we can show compassion to others when they stumble themselves. I am certainly not saying that I completely understand why God chose to leave us with the ability to sin after we have come to Him in repentance and faith, but what Arthur Pink wrote does make sense.

Remember, as a child of God our goal - our desire - is to never sin, and we should be doing everything within our power to flee from any and all sin, but when we do fall we have an advocate with the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ; He is the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:1-2).

Take some some tome today to get alone with God, repent of any known sin in your life and then thank Him that He alone is our Rock and our Salvation.

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