Divine Forbearance

That David even had opportunity to write the song is, in itself, amazing. Think about it, this is a man who has been shown divine favor but responded with detestable failure. A man of extreme privilege who foolishly exercised such privilege to take that which was not his. A man of great power who wielded his scepter as a sword against an innocent man and took a life to cover up his own lust.

He had known the call of God upon his life, having received heaven sent promises. He had known the hand of God upon his life, having experienced heaven sent protection. And he had known the abundant blessing of God upon his life, having received a heaven sent place of prominence. But despite the promises, forgetting the protection, and taking advantage of his prominence, he fell. He transgressed. He sinned . . . big time!

“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight”

(Psalm 51:3-4a ESV)

A night with Bathsheba. A suicide mission for her husband, Uriah. If you think about it, with everything that God had revealed to David, with everything God had given David, with all that God desired of David, wouldn’t God have been justified in responding with an immediate judgment of David? Take way the throne. Pour wrath out on the man. With how much David had been given, shouldn’t much have been expected? Would it not have been reasonable to expect that David should be done with?

Evidently not.

So what compels a holy, righteous, and just God to withhold immediate recompense for such treachery and transgression? What drives the Divine to even allow a sinner to have breath enough after his sin to write a song? I came across it in my other reading in Romans this morning.

. . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith. This was to show Gods righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins.

(Romans 3:23-25 ESV)

Divine forbearance. God determined patience. Grace enabled longsuffering. That’s why God did not come forth in judgment the morning David got out of bed after a night with a woman who was another man’s wife. That’s why God did not pour out wrath the moment after Uriah was struck down by the sword which, for all intents and purposes, David had thrust in him. That’s why God allowed the king to be confronted with his sin and be broken in spirit and pen a song of confession and repentance. That’s why David could appeal to God’s steadfast love and His abundant mercy and ask to be washed from his iniquity and cleansed from his sin (Ps. 51:1-2).

Divine forbearance.

Possible because of the redemption that would be found through divine sacrifice. God’s own Son having been offered for the atonement of David’s sin. The wrath of God merited for the violation of Bathsheba and the violence against Uriah poured out on the Son of God so that sinners might write their songs. So that sinners might confess their transgression and by faith receive forgiveness through the blood of Christ which cleanses from all sin.

How I thank God for divine forbearance. In my past, in my present, and though I would not presume on it, I know in my future.

All because of the finished work of the cross of Christ. All through His overflowing grace. All for His eternal glory.

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