I Samuel 18-20; Psalm 11&59
I don’t know what it is like in other parts of the world, but here in the States we have always prided ourselves in working hard and building this country by the sweat of our brows. (present history excluded) We’re the home of the brave, after all!
I’m pretty sure that attitude is not exclusive to the USA. It’s more of a mankind thing. People like to see the fruit of their efforts, and take great satisfaction in their accomplishments.
When King Saul offered his daughter to David to be his wife, David politely refused. Twice.
I Samuel 18:18 says, “Who am I, and what is my life or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be the king’s son-in-law?”
Then in verse 23: “Is it trivial in your eyes to become the king’s son-in-law since I am a poor man and lightly esteemed?”
David was a simple shepherd. He had no means of paying a dowery to the king! He was the youngest son from a simple tribe of Israel. All kinds of legitimate reasons why he didn’t deserve to marry the king’s daughter.
Now hear what happened when Saul told David how he could “earn” the right to marry his daughter by bringing him 100 Philistine foreskins:
“…it pleased David to become the king’s son-in-law.”
David would have to kill a bunch of men, cut off their foreskins, and present them to Saul. Do this, this, and this, then you earn the right to be a member of the king’s family. That made David happy.
THEN David when out, struck down 200 Philistines and presented 200 foreskins to Saul. BooYa!
This story helps me understand why grace is such a hard thing for some people to accept. They think their sin’s are too many, or too severe. They think they don’t deserve God’s love because of the awful things they’ve done. And they are right to think that.
But here’s God with outstretched arms saying, “‘Come unto Me’ anyway. Just come to Me and accept this free gift I am offering you. Ask me to forgive you and see what happens next!”
Somehow I think if God told us to bring him one hundred foreskins, or climb a mountain, or build a tower, or tap our heels three times, our churches would fill their pews.
But salvation has nothing to do with what we do. It has everything to do with what Jesus has already done.
Being a child of God doesn’t cost you a thing, other than a little humility, other than asking for forgiveness, other than trusting the One who loves you more than you can imagine. It’s really not that hard.
But the result is a blessed walk with the Lord! Victory over sin and death! Strength. Love. Protection. Eternal life.