Rooted in Grace

This month our church has been in the midst of fasting and praying for 21 days as we begin the New Year 2024. A fast is a way of expressing a greater need beyond ourselves, our need of God and greater intimacy with Him. There is so much more I could say on the subject, but essentially, it’s a surrender, a renewal, a relinquishing of self, and a pressing in to the very heart of God. During a fast there comes a moment when you have to come clean with God…A moment when you need to unveil your secrets, struggles, and sins… 

A moment when you need to fall full weight on the grace of God.

During my prayer time, I’ve asked the lord repeatedly what is an attribute of God that he would like to have me focus on and grow in this year? Matthew 11:28-29 says: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you will find rest for your soul”. I want so much to learn of Him. So, in response, I began to notice Him speaking to me each day of His bountiful “Grace.” Praise God for abundant grace! I have so many questions that I’m asking Him and little by little answers are unfolding.

Sunday at church our pastor spoke on the familiar story of David and Goliath. Even though it’s a well-known story, I’m always amazed by the layers of treasure-filled wisdom hidden in God’s holy word, layers upon layers. I’ve always thought of David as such a strong, mighty, powerful man of God. Yes, I know he sinned greatly with Bathsheba, it’s true. However, as believers why do we sometimes believe or act as though our sin disqualifies us or others from the grace of God? According to Romans 5:15:

 “If many died through one man’s trespass, how much more did God’s grace and the free gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many.” 

So, therefore, grace is that quality in God that produces free gifts for guilty sinners. 

And according to Romans 11:5-6, you can’t work to earn grace. It is free and undeserved. 

“At the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise, grace would no longer be grace.”

None of us would be saved if grace was not undeserved favor.

So back to David’s story…Over the years, I’ve grown to really appreciate David. I know that he has his clear failures, and yet he is such a compelling and genuinely good king and man. I think of him as the shepherd who became king and “the sweet psalmist of Israel”. 

(2 Samuel 23:1). I think of him as a young warrior, who fought, lions, bears and a 

9-foot 6-inch giant. And this young boy was even strong enough to draw Goliath’s massive sword from its sheath and cut through his giant neck to take off his head! That seems unfathomable! 

In 2 Samuel 17, we see David’s son Absalom rebel against his father, march on Jerusalem, and send David retreating. David’s loyal friend Hushai characterizes David to Absalom:

“You know that your father and his men are mighty men, and that they are enraged, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Besides, your father is expert in war.” (2 Sam. 17:8) 

Not just his men, but David himself is mighty — and David in particular is expert in war.

In fact, the first time Scripture speaks of David, even before the Goliath account, he is introduced by one of Saul’s servants not only as “skillful in playing” but as “a man of valor, a man of war” and “a man of good presence.”

“Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the Lord is with him.” (1 Samuel 16:18)

Eventually, in celebration of David’s many feats we read of women dancing in the streets, singing of the strength they see in David: “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands”. David grows up to be a fierce warrior and Saul sets David over the men of war. Then in order to win Saul’s daughter as his bride, David brings the king two hundred Philistine foreskins. Even later we hear of David leading thirty thousand warriors in battle and being victorious wherever he goes (2 Sam. 8:6). At the end of his life, the reason God gives as to why David will not be the one to build the temple is that he is “a man of war.” The Bible further describes him in 2 Samuel 22 He “can run against a troop,” and “leap over a wall” (verse 29).

He writes that God “equipped me with strength” (verse 32) and “made my feet like the feet of a deer” (verse 33). God “trained my hands for war,” he adds, making his arms strong enough to “bend a bow of bronze” (verse 34). To be sure, an amazing physical specimen, a fierce warrior, an all-around mighty man is king David!

Yet, as David celebrates God’s good provision of physical, prowess, David makes a striking claim in verse 35. To me this takes David’s manhood to a brand-new level, and surpasses the glory of slaying a giant in his youth. He says to God in 2 Sam..22:36, “Your gentleness made me great. Did you hear that? He’s telling God, “Your gentleness made me great.

David is saying physical manifestations are not what made him great. He is saying it was God’s gentleness that made David greatWhat does it mean that God’s gentleness made him great? We might understand this in two ways. One, God had been gentle with David. David had flaws, many failures and sins. God could have rejected him and cut him off from the throne at any point. Yet God was gentle with him; he was gracious with him. And what’s more, David recognized the fact. Ladies, I’m talking “Grace” of God. Gentleness is graciousness. Gentleness is “Grace.” David did not deserve it, but God was gentle with him. Actually, I think David is saying even more here. Not only had the omnipotent God been gentle with David, but God’s own gentleness with David had changed David. God’s own grace had come to take root in David’s heart and characterize his own life and leadership. I’m suggesting that when David grew in His relationship with God and came to the throne and wielded kingdom power, he did so with gentleness. He did so with “Grace.” In humility and gentleness, David chooses to let Saul go free, even though he could have seized the kingdom from Saul. Even after Saul’s death, David takes initiative to show kindness and gentleness to make provision for the house of Saul. In fact, there are many more instances where David demonstrated gentleness and grace.

The greatness of David is not that he slew the giant Goliath. 

The greatness of David is that as a man he slew the giants in his own warrior’s heart: arrogance and pride, selfishness, unrighteous anger, petty disputes, personal offenses, and luxuries. David was a great king, and the type of the Anointed One to come. He was a man who was not weak, but strong, brave, kind, patient, and gentle. David, having learned from God’s own gentleness with him, learned how and when to be gentle with others. Rooted in grace is greatness!

1.”For by grace our children and grandchildren have been saved through faith. And this is not their own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8–9

2.”But he said to our children, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9–10

3.”For sin will have no dominion over our children, since they are not under law but under grace.”Rom.6:14 

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