The Level Place of Grace

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Original photo by David Shankbone

Daily Reform, 2 Samuel 11:26-12:10, 13-15

From the Reformer

… not that we should live securely, and sin, relying upon the mercy of God, but that, when we feel his anger, “which will surely follow upon the sins,” we should not despair, but remember these comfortable examples, and thence conclude, that, as God was merciful unto them, so likewise he will be gracious unto us, out of his mere goodness and mercy shown in Christ, and will not impute our sins unto us.

We may also see by such examples of great holy men falling so grievously, what a wicked, crafty, and envious spirit the devil is, a very prince and good of the world.

These high, divine people, who committed such heavy sins, fell, through God’s counsel and permission, to the end they should not be proud or boast themselves of their gifts and qualities, but should rather fear. For, when David had slain Uriah, had taken from him his wife, and thereby given cause to God’s enemies to blaspheme, he could not boast he had governed well, or shown goodness; but he said: “I have sinned against the Lord,” and with tears prayed for mercy. Job also acknowledgingly says: “I have spoken foolishly, and therefore do I accuse myself, and repent.”

—Martin Luther, Table Talk

Pulling It Together

It is an irony, and difficult for many to accept: God will even use our sin to draw us closer to himself. See in the story of David, Bathsheba, and Uriah, how God does not condone David’s horrific sin. Sin is still sin, even for a king. See also that he does not cast David aside. Forgiveness is available even for murderers when that murderer confesses he is a lesser man than he previously thought himself. Then there are just two choices left to him: despair or faith. Strong, unshakable faith will rise above the action, standing firmly on that level place called grace. This is how God uses sin to draw you closer than before. He shakes you loose from self-security so that you rely upon him by faith. When you have taken a long look at yourself, you must either despair or have an unshakably strong faith in order to believe that God loves a person like you.

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

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