What is God’s goal in restoring a fallen saint? He uses fallen and broken people to declare His gospel.
This post is part of my book launch, God’s Triumphant Mercy: A Reflection of Psalm 51
Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
What would you say of a former drunk driver who had fatally hit someone, spent ten years in prison, and then dedicated his life to warn others of the dangers of driving under influence? Would you say: “Who are you to tell me!” “What gives you the right to lecture me on what I can and cannot do?”
I don’t think that would be your response. Rather, wouldn’t you at least commend him for warning others against what he himself had foolishly done? Hadn’t he learned an excruciating lesson that potentially could restrain others from doing the same?
God uses transgressors to teach transgressors. He uses fallen and broken people, who’ve been rescued out of the pit, to proclaim His gospel. Peter wrote: “That you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). The chief of sinners became the greatest apostle: “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost” (1 Tim. 1:15).
David had a genuine concern for transgressors. He had no condemnation for them, but only a desire to teach God’s ways in such a manner that “sinners will return to you.” Obviously, that includes warning others of the temporal and eternal consequences of sin.
Isaiah has a great commentary on this verse: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:7-9). There’s always hope!
It’s wasn’t hypocrisy or self-righteousness when David desired to teach sinners God’s ways. While, no doubt, some despised him and reminded him of his sins, God didn’t do so. Actually, this psalm has been a major blessing throughout the centuries, giving hope to the hopeless.
God is able to work all things together for good. That’s what it means to be God. Nothing is too hard for Him! A devastating fall into sin can open up a whole new area of ministry, even till the end of this age. God’s redemptive grace is without limit.
Heavenly Father, help me to teach Your ways.
The Devotional Writer
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