The testimony which the Lord gave of David is this: “walk before me, as David…walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee….” (I Kings 9:4)
David was not perfect. He could not claim the status of Jesus who “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) He made some rather bad choices, and they are recorded in plain black and white in God’s Word.
Yet the record is that David “walked in integrity of heart…to do according to all that” God commanded. How is that possible?
David’s story is my story, too; and herein is the glory of the Gospel.
Psalm 30 records the story. It is a history of despair and danger, a testimony of redemption and victory, and ultimately a shout of praise. It is David’s story.
David recalls his dangers. He has been at the mercy of his enemies. He has been threatened with death. He has been distanced from God.
Peter urges us in the New Testament, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary [that is, your enemy] the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
A roaring lion in the grassy savanna is a threat to our physical life; but this “lion” is so much more deadly. Satan lures us into sin, which will steal our very soul.
“The wages of sin is death.”
That’s where David stood. And this is where I have stood. The thought can lead to despair.
When the disciples asked Jesus in surprise, “Who then can be saved!”, Jesus began His reply with “With man this is impossible.” But. But he did not stop there, Praise God!
This is where it gets good!
Before even beginning his story, David had to voice his praise. Psalm 30, verse 1 says:
“I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.”
“The wages of sin is death”, yes, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”! We cannot save ourselves any more than the leopard can change his spots or the Ethiopian his skin. With man alone, salvation is impossible…but with God all things are possible.
“Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise”! By God’s grace, which is sufficient for me, I will stand. (Micah 7:8; II Corinthians 12:9)
We may find ourselves pleading, with David, “Lord, ‘remember not the sins of my youth…according to thy mercy remember thou me”, and again “Remember not against us former iniquities”. (Psalms 25:7; 79:8)
But do you see the hope, even in the plea? To be “former”, the sin must have come–and gone.
So let us pray, “Help us…deliver us…”–but don’t stop there! Lord, “purge away our sins”. (Psalm 79:9)
Forever we may praise Him! David closes his Psalm with these thoughts:
“Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off for me my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.”
David’s story is my story–is it your story, too?