OBSERVATION: Can the Lord really redeem my past mistakes? This is a question that confronts every believer. We know what the Word of God says, yet this promise seems almost too good to be true. We interpret our moments of personal weakness or lapses into old patterns as proof that we are beyond redeeming. And we have help in fostering this lie. The enemy of our souls loves to come at these moments of weakness and whisper words of condemnation to help us sink further into despair. Is there any hope?
God’s favor and His presence are not rewards for good behavior. They are gifts freely given through the completed work of Jesus Christ on the cross! It is this power that is always calling us toward redemption. It is this power that is always reminding us of the wonderful truth,
- “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God—those whom he has called according to his plan. This is true because he already knew his people and had already appointed them to have the same form as the image of his Son. Therefore, his Son is the firstborn among many children. He also called those whom he had already appointed. He approved of those whom he had called, and he gave glory to those whom he had approved of. What can we say about all of this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:28-31 GW
So what does this have to do with I Chronicles 22:1? Everything! This is one of those verses that we simply fly by in our reading. Yet, it actually holds the evidence of God’s redemptive power and love to take our brokenness and sin and transform it in His presence. Where do we find this evidence? We find it in David’s sin outlined in I Chronicles 21.
David was just like us. He was vulnerable to pride and sin. When he asked Joab to do a census of Israel and Judah, he was not doing this to obey a command of the Lord, he was doing this to bolster his own ego. David wanted to revel in his power and accomplishments. He wanted to revel in the greatness of his kingdom and the strength of his army. This was a sin because it took his eyes away from a sole trust and devotion to the Lord, and turned them to worshipping his own strength and accomplishments. When David became aware of his sin, he repented before the Lord. The Lord gave him a choice of 3 judgments – famine, war, or a plague. David chose the plague because He knew that the Lord would be more merciful than famine or a foreign army.
When David saw the Messenger of the Lord positioned in judgment against Israel, he cried out to the Lord. He was instructed by the Messenger of the Lord to offer a sacrifice at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. Ornan was willing to give the land to David, but David would not offer a sacrifice to the Lord that did not cost him something. So David purchased the threshing floor of Ornan, offered sacrifices to the Lord for his sin and the judgment against Israel, and the Lord received this sacrifice and extended His mercy to Israel and David. And it is now on this site, the site of David’s sacrifice for sin, the sight that represented his rebellion against the Lord – that the Lord chooses to be the center of His presence! It is on this sight, the threshing floor of Ornan, that Solomon would build the Temple of the Lord and the Ark of the Covenant would come to reside!
This is not God rewarding sin. God never rewards sin. Jesus Christ came to pay the penalty of our sin. This is the mercy and love of God redeeming our sin. He takes our brokenness and He declares His purposes over our life. He reaches into even the most mundane and unusable areas of our lives and redefines them with an eternal purpose. He took the brokenness of David’s sin, and the threshing floor of Ornan, and established the place of His presence! Now, if that is not redemption of our past mistakes – I don’t know what is! This is not a license to go out and sin. God forbid! Rather, this is the blessed assurance that He truly is working all things together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose!
Lord, thank You for Your presence! Thank You for Your promise! Thank You for Your love! When the enemy comes to whisper in my ear – may I hear Your voice rise above this empty chatter, and may I proclaim – “If God is for me, who can be against me!” May the wonder of Your presence, promise, and love give me power to resist temptation and the grace to walk in the victory of Your life!
In Jesus Name!