Proverbs 20:8 A king who sits on the throne of judgment scatters all evil with his eyes.
Evil scatters before this king because it is afraid of him. He has the power to punish and destroy. His gaze is fierce and frightening. You dare not approach or speak to him. He has no mercy for you. His name is religion.
But there is a King who sits upon a throne of grace. The fiery love in His eyes compels me to flee from the evil in my heart and to draw near to Him. I have a King that I can approach and speak to. He loves me with an unfailing love. His name is Jesus.
Tell some of adding faith to faith, one degree of grace to another, and you shall find they have more mind to join house to house, and lay field to field. Their souls are athirst, ever gaping for more. But of what? Not of Christ or heaven. It is earth. Earth they never think they have enough of, till death comes and stops their mouth with a shovel full, digged out of their own grave.
William Gurnall – The Christian in Complete Armour
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
It is upon a throne of grace that we will find our Savior. Never winking at our sin, always at work to deliver us from every remaining vestige of it’s outworking in our lives, yet He sympathizes with our weaknesses because He understands what it is to be one of us. He knows how temptation buffets us from every direction. And to this throne He has invited us to confidently come, for it is from here that He dispenses mercy and grace for His children who so desperately need His help.
He offers “grace to help.” An interesting word here – “help”. It means “a rope or chain for frapping a vessel.” Frapping a vessel is what happened in Acts 27:17 when they “used cables to undergird the ship”. The cables were wrapped around the ship and were intended to keep it from being broken apart during the violence of the storm. This is what grace is in our lives.
Grace is defined as the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life. It is God’s divine influence surrounding us, wrapping tightly around us just as those cables are wrapped around the ship, that holds us together in the midst of even the most life-shaking storms.
Through the blood of Christ, access has been granted to this throne of grace any day, any time, for any need. Come boldly. Come often. And be amazed at all that is made freely available to us through such a great High Priest.
“….but the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.” 2 Samuel 11:27
David’s sin with Bathsheba started out with a glance, then a gaze, and then a summons. There is always a progression with sin. It begins subtly in our thoughts and the outcome is often determined at this point. The Holy Spirit will be faithful to warn us, but we must listen. If we choose to ignore the quiet voice, the gentle tuggings at our conscience, we will find ourselves soon heading full speed down the path of iniquity.
Surely at some point while David was gazing upon Bathsheba he felt that nudging. After all, he was a man after God’s own heart. But his desire to please his flesh at that moment was stronger than his desire to please God. And Bathsheba was summoned, a child was conceived and her husband was murdered. David married Bathsheba and life continued……
But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.
One of the most chilling phrases in the Bible to me is the prophet Nathan’s confrontation of David’s sin. YOU ARE THE MAN! Fear must have gripped David’s heart as he realized his sin was not hidden from the eyes of God. As a man that knew God’s law, he knew the penalty for what he had done was death.
Although David did not escape this incident unscathed, God has extended a scepter of grace to him. Justice required his death. Mercy granted him life.
When I think of this story I am reminded of the woman caught in adultery in John 8. As she is brought to Jesus, it is recorded that he was writing on the ground. People have always wondered what he was writing. I think he was writing “David and Bathsheba”.
No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved. Matthew 9:16-17
The unshrunk cloth results in a tear, the unaged wine results in a spill. In both cases, something new is added to something old and the results were destructive. That which is new (the new covenant) must be put into that which is new (the new heart, born again by the Spirit).
We live in an age obsessed with self-improvement. We want to put a patch here or there, and just fix up what we already have. “Sure, I’ll take some of that salvation”, and the gospel that is poured in, we cannot contain because we have not been made new by the Spirit. Our self serving religion cracks, the wine spills and the skins are destroyed.
New wine must be put into new wineskins. The gospel is not another self improvement method, adding Jesus to Dr. Phil and Dr. Laura as another good teacher that can help us learn how to live right. We don’t need to be fixed, we need to be made new.
It seems to me that there are only two religions in the world – law and grace. For those under law, whatever form of it they choose to follow, the work never ends. Endless patching needs to be done, which never fails to lead to more tears to be patched. But for those of us who have received grace, we have been made new totally apart from our own efforts.