The Pits

Daily Reform, Day 190

Galatians 2:21 & Psalm 40:1-6

From the Reformer

If my salvation was so difficult to accomplish that it necessitated the death of Christ, then all my works, all the righteousness of the Law, are good for nothing. How can I buy for a penny what cost a million dollars? The Law is a penny’s worth when you compare it with Christ. Should I be so stupid as to reject the righteousness of Christ which cost me nothing, and slave like a fool to achieve the righteousness of the Law which God disdains?

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

David was in the pits. One of his sons (either Absalom or Adonijah) was in rebellion against him. If a prince wants to be king, then the king has to go! This is a dangerous place to be in and it is no wonder King David said he was in a pit. He was in a low place indeed when one of his own sons wanted him dead.

At various times in life, it must be admitted that we are down in the dumps. We look around and all seems dismal. Even someone whom God loved as much as he loved David suffered low times in life. So if no one is exempt from the pits, what should a person’s response be when life has her down?

Make the Lord your trust. Do not trust in self-help or determination or good fortune. Work hard! But do not trust your work; trust in the Lord. Especially, do not trust in religion when you are in the pit. Too many people believe the reason they are in a low spot is because they have displeased God. So they bring him some sacrifice to appease his wrath. At such times (and at all times) you should delight yourself in doing God’s will—but never for a moment imagine that doing his will or keeping his law (Psa 40:8) placates God. God only delights in one sacrifice: the sacrifice of his own Son. Trust him in the heights—and in the pits.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers

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