SOAP Journal – 10 April 2019 (Psalm 18)

He brought me forth also into a broad place;
He rescued me, because He delighted in me.

Psalm 18:19

This psalm is a repeat of the contents of 1 Samuel 22:1-51, but there is a theme in here that bears note and verse nineteen perfectly encapsulates that theme. God brings us into broad places and rescues us, because He delights in us.

There are other parts of this psalm wherein David speaks as if his righteousness was worth anything on its own when it really is not. Our purest acts of righteousness, as Isaiah wrote, are comparable to menstrual cloths (Isaiah 64:6). He rescues me, not because of any righteous thing I have done, but because He delights in me. This is not to say that my efforts to live righteously are without value to God. My efforts are most certainly valuable to Him, just as the efforts of any child are valuable to their parent. My children have tried, and often not done very well, to do something to bless me. I see things as they are. I know that the plants “pruned” may never fully recover and that the task would take me only a fraction of the time if I did it myself. But my children are motivated by love for their daddy and I see this, too. I try to keep this at the forefront of my thoughts. God does not need to try. He sees our deeds for the filth that they are and also sees the love that motivates those deeds. He responds to the love. If God ever did, as David wrote, [reward] me according to my righteousness (v. 20), then I would be in sad shape.

God rescues me and brings me into broad places not because I deserve it, but because He delights in me. He delights to bless His children and to give to us from the generosity of His heart. The Bible tells me so and my experience affirms it.

My application this morning is simply this: I need to take a moment to recognize that all of my efforts are judged on the heart behind them and all of my blessings are because God delights in me, not because I have done anything exceptionally well.

Father, thank You for Your generous heart and for giving abundantly from that heart. Thank You for not judging me on my righteousness, but on Christ’s. And thank You for seeing the heart behind the sad excuses for righteous deeds.

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