I read a passage attributed to King David, the psalmist, this morning and wrote in the margin of my Bible… “Not me! I can’t say this! I’m really glad I don’t get what I deserve! I’m glad I was granted mercy!”
The passage that prompted that response? Here’s what David wrote…
“The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD! I have not wickedly departed from my God! For all His rules were before me, and His statutes I did not put away from me. I was blameless before Him, and I kept myself from my guilt. So the LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.“ (from Psalm 18:20-24 ESV)
Now I wish I could say that was true of me… It isn’t; and I know it! David must have been feeling pretty good about himself the day he wrote those words! Maybe it was before the Bathsheba and Uriah event in his life… I don’t know. (Check out II Samuel 11-12 to see what I’m referring to… Pretty sordid!) The same guy wrote Psalm 51 after that deal! (Believe me, a very different tone – and a worthy read)!
I just have to say, I identify more with Psalm 103:8-10! Here’s what it says…
“The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love! … He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities! For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him! As for as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us! As a father shows compassion to His children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him! For He knows our frame – He remembers that we are dust!” (from Psalm 103:8-14)
Same guy… different day! Yes, I identify more with that last passage… Don’t you?