Psalm 34:22 The Lord redeems his servants;
no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.
It is interesting how much of the New Testament we can find in the Old. We tend to think of redemption strictly in terms of Christ giving Himself for us, but this was centuries before that. The idea of forgiveness by grace through faith is one that David experienced and clung to. It is instructive that the Japanese translation for what the English renders as “condemned” is, “convicted of sin.” We are, to use a common expression, guilty as hell, but when we take refuge in the Lord , the sentence of judgment doesn’t come on us. David pushed that to the limit, committing adultery with Bathsheba and then having her husband killed so he could take her as his wife, when he already had many others. He experienced repercussions from that for the rest of his life, but his repentance was real and he was not rejected by God. This Psalm was written years before that, and David remembered this truth when it was essential to him.
I certainly have my share of reasons to be grateful for this truth. It is indicative of our fallen nature that we tend to overlook our own sins and condemn those of others, even when they are the same sins. Especially as a pastor I must be careful to apply the same standards to myself that I preach to others, recognizing that I need the grace of God as much as anyone else. Some people look at me and only see the “shiny spots,” not noticing the dark blotches that are there as well. I’m not to fool myself that way! That said, I’m also not to dwell on my failures past, or even present, but recognize that God’s forgiveness is real and His cleansing effective. (1 John 1:9) I am to recognize that I, and everyone else, am a work in progress, but God will bring that work to completion. (Philippians 1:6) My focus is to be on bringing as many people as possible to repent and believe, trusting the Lord to redeem them from their sins, so that together we may experience His full salvation.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Help me be an open channel of Your grace at all times, so that I too may receive the grace that I need, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!