I want to quote from 2 Samuel 22:21-25 which are the words of King David as he reflects on his life: “The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD; I have not done evil by turning from my God. All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees. I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin. The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight.”
Whoa, wait a second. David is righteous before God? He has kept the ways of the LORD? What about Bathsheba? What about his having Uriah killed? Righteous? No way!
I have never committed adultery, I have never killed anyone, yet even I cannot claim to be righteous before God. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We ALL have sinned; there has never been one who could claim to be righteous before God, except Jesus Christ. “For the wages of sin is death,” (part of Romans 6:23). And we ALL deserve that penalty, even David.
And yet David claims righteousness before the LORD, he claims to be blameless. How can that be? The fact that his words are quoted in Holy Scriptures must mean something, right? HOW is he righteous, HOW is he blameless? The remainder of Romans 6:23 says “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Psalm 32 is David’s confession of his sin after the affairs mentioned above. I quote selected verses: “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. … Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’ – and you forgave the guilt of my sin.”
David does not yet know Jesus and how he would die to pay the penalty for his sin. But he did know God to be a gracious God who would forgive the sins of those who would confess their sins to him, humbly begging the forgiveness for those sins, and was confident that God has forgiven his sins. And David’s life changed: never again did he commit those sins that were so onerous. His confession of his sins resulted in a changed life and in God’s forgiveness of his sins.
I am a sinner, and I am regularly before God confessing my sins to him, endeavoring not to repeat those sins in the future, and I am confident that God has forgiven my sins. Not that I am in any way a righteous man because of my own efforts, but I am declared righteous by God because of my faith in his promise that he forgives the sins of those who confess their sins and trust in God’s promise to forgive sins.
Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for all my sins, and all the sins of EVERYONE who trust in him for the forgiveness of sins, believing that he died paying the penalty for all sins of all mankind of all ages and time.
As Jesus rose from the dead in victory over sin and death, he promises us that we also will rise from the dead to join him in his victory, to live with him forever in his eternal kingdom.
David was confident that even though he had committed murder and adultery, God had forgiven his sins and has declared him righteous and blameless. We also are declared righteous and blameless when we confess our sins and trust in God’s promise of the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting with him.
Rejoice in this wonderful promise of God’s grace and live a life of peace and contentment with God.