David is one of the most important prophets in the Old Testament. His Psalms have resounded throughout the ages with praise for our God. Yet, there is another aspect of David’s character and writings that has always spoken to me, now more loudly than ever, and that is David’s cries for God: “Why have you forsaken me?” “Why do you not answer me?” “Where are you, God?”

Unfortunately, we were together two years ago under similar circumstances. At that time, I voiced my despair to God and said, “Why my daughter? Why her and not me?” When my son slipped away from us, one verse kept rolling around in my head:

2 Samuel 18:33 The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!”

David is not reluctant to show us his humanness and his moments of despair. This is the David that I find the most comforting. Even in his darkest moments, David continues to praise God, to cling to that which he cannot see.

David also lost a beloved son, and he mourned him with his whole being. Yet, not once did he blame God, nor “curse God and die,” but continued to praise Him, even, as it were, through his tears.

Another thing about David is that God called him a man after his own heart, even knowing the unspeakable sins that David would commit against God and man. Those who do not understand grace uplift David as some sort of superhuman, or indicate that David somehow earned this God’s favor through his repentance and remorse. But they forget that this is exactly what God does to all those who trust in Him:
  • He justifies the wicked.
  • He calls those His loved ones who are not His loved ones.
  • He credits righteousness where there is none.
  • He calls things that are not as if they are.
  • He declares clean the unclean.
This is forgiveness. This is grace. This is the Gospel.

As Paul explains in Romans 4:

1 What then shall we say that Abraham (or David), our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter?
2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God.
3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation.
5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.

Then Paul quotes David himself:

6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
7 “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”

David was not the one who was faithful. As with Abraham, it was GOD Who was faithful to His own promise. He promised to credit Abraham with righteousness, and was faithful to His Word, because even after a life of sinfulness, God STILL declared Abraham righteous:

Gen 26:3 Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham.
4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,
5 because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.”

This is grace. This is God’s unfathomable mercy, His pronouncement of righteousness. Why do I say this? Because it is the only possible answer. Because the Scriptures tell us that Abraham was not only sinful, but he actually scoffed at God, “ROFLing” at His word that he and Sarah would have offspring.

One Easter, my son and I had driven to Beaumont to go to church service with my daughter who was in school at Lamar University. It was a formal service at an Episcopalian Church. The service ended with the Hallelujah Chorus for which, amazingly, the three of us were the only ones standing. My son was the first to stand, and showed no hint of discomfort to find that we were standing by ourselves. On the way back from Beaumont, my son commented on the pastor’s remarks. He said that it was refreshing to hear a grace-centered sermon.

Yes, my son knew grace. He knew Jesus. He had been nurtured with the Gospel from infancy by his mother and his Grannie Pat. That is our comfort in this time of acute sadness.
It is human nature, I suppose, to want to find something good coming from such a tragedy. That is very difficult for me to do right now. I suppose some might say why trust in a God Who would allow you to go through such sorrow. My response is the same as Peter’s:

John 6:65 “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

Eternal life is found only in Christ.

2 Tim 1:8 Be not ashamed therefore of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but suffer hardship with the gospel according to the power of God;
9 who saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before times eternal,
10 but hath now been manifested by the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

I attended a funeral service with my brother this past Sunday. He gave a wonderful message of the Resurrection of our Lord:

1 Cor 15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

It is “Because He lives” that I can face a tomorrow without either of my children. It is because of His promises of eternal life that I can bear the sadness that hangs so heavily on me at this time. Not only has Christ been raised from the dead, but He IS the Resurrection and the Life. Lazarus died so that Jesus could reveal His power as THE Resurrection and the Life.

John 11:20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.

David never saw our Savior with his own eyes; only with the eyes of faith. He did not see the great redemption that Christ would provide for those who trust in Him; he could only trust in God’s promises to forgive and keep him. David sang of the blessings of eternity, but did not live to see them fulfilled in Jesus Christ. But we have seen! We know how God has acted; we know of His great act of mercy and salvation! We have seen God’s unfathomable love poured out for us on the cross. And we have seen the power and glory of our Lord’s Resurrection! And so we have more reason to trust in Him even than David had.

John 5:24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.

John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

Yes, God’s grace was sufficient for sinners like Abraham and David. It is sufficient for sinners like my son, and for sinners like you and me.

Praise God for so great a salvation.