Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Basis

David may be high on the "man of faith" totem pole, but he is never so high that his feet lose contact with the clay upon which he stood and with which his feet were made.  One verse of the 44th Psalm sends my mind to the more familiar 51st.  In the last verse of the 44th Psalm we hear him praying to God, "Redeem us for he sake of Your steadfast love."  As he prays heavy with an awareness of his sin in the 51st Psalm, we hear, "Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy..."  Unlike many of today's sinners seeking forgiveness, David is not one who pleads the case of his own goodness, or asks for exemptions, or has any sense of entitlement.
Instead, he asks for redemption on the basis of the steadfast love of God.  In this 44th Psalm he does ramble around a bit in the land of trying to convince God he has not sinned ( vs. 17-18, 20), but he finally comes to this place of casting himself not upon his perceived notion of personal goodness, but upon the constant and steadfast love of a God he knows is consistently full of mercy.  David and many others who simply saw the Lord and cried out for mercy point us in the right direction.

The mercy of God is our hope.  Our goodness is no hope, only an illusion.  As David asked to be seen according to the steadfast love of God, so do we ask only to be seen as one who stands before the cross declaring it our only hope.  The cross certainly speaks of the steadfast love of God, but it is also a signal of the mercy of God.  Once we sin, we are made whole only because of the blood of Christ on the cross.  Our ideas about personal goodness, our declaration of good deeds, and our record of sacrifice count for nothing alongside of our sin.  The only thing which can finally deliver us is something outside of ourselves and that is the shed blood of the Son of God on the cross called Calvary.  The only place to kneel and ask for mercy and forgiveness is the cross.  There is no other saving option.  Only the mercy afforded to us at the cross where Jesus died can save us. 

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