But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.
Many times God purposefully uses extremes to show forth His grace. He takes “the foremost” sinner (1 Tim. 1:15) and makes him into one of the greatest saints who ever lived. Paul also gave the reason why He did so: “But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost [sinner], Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life” (1 Tim. 1:16). Paul, as the foremost sinner, served as “an example” of the glory of Christ in saving him. Today we have a similar example.
David had greatly sinned, especially against clear light and knowledge. He had committed adultery and had arranged Uriah’s murder. Both sins deserved capital punishment. After many months Nathan confronted him and David confessed: “I have sinned against the LORD.” Immediately Nathan declared God’s forgiveness: “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die” (2 Sam. 12:13). However, the horrendous consequences would remain.
Absalom rebelled against his father and sought to kill him. The third psalm is in relation to Absalom’s uprising: “A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.” David started the psalm with: “O LORD, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God” (Ps. 3:1-2). Had David not given a legitimate reason for them to say so?
However, since Nathan had declared and confirmed God’s forgiveness, David was able to say one of the most amazing verses in the Bible: “But you, O LORD, are … my glory.” David had to flee his palace, Absalom had usurped authority, and the people were increasingly supporting Absalom. No doubt many were talking about David’s sins, saying that “there is no salvation for him in God.” Yet, while having basically lost all earthly glory, David was able to say by faith that the LORD was his glory.
While David may be an extreme example, the same is true for us. We have lost our glory through sin. However, Jesus came to live a perfect righteous life on our behalf and die for all our sins. As a result, Jesus is our glory. No sin or shame can stand against His finished work! That’s grace indeed!
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The Devotional Writer
Author of “An Unfathomable Gift!“