One of the best stories of grace in the Old Testament, and probably my favorite, is the story of King David. If there was a man who royally screwed up (no pun intended) it was this man. He flagrantly disobeyed God on many occasions. He took a census of the people of Israel when God had told him not to do so (1 Chronicles 21), he slept with Bathsheba and got her pregnant (2 Samuel 11:1-4), and he covered up his affair by murdering her husband (2 Samuel 11:5-27). That’s a pretty heavy list that would have most of us agreeing with anything God decided to do to David.
But how does God respond? Does he smite David? Does he strike him dead? No. He forgives him. He is gracious to him. He doesn’t treat him as his sins deserve. That is the basic definition of “grace”. It is undeserved favor from God. Was God angry with David? Were there consequences for his actions? Absolutely. Grace does not necessarily turn away temporal consequences. In response to David’s sin the royal family was plagued with one hardship after another and the Lord promised that “the sword [would] never depart from [David’s] house” (2 Samuel 12:10). Also, the baby conceived in the affair died (2 Samuel 12:14; 12:18). However, in terms of ultimate punishment, condemnation, and death David was spared (2 Samuel 12:13). In fact, in spite of David’s sin, the messiah himself would come from David’s line. Now, that is grace!
So we see from David’s life that God has always been a gracious God who has not dealt with us as our sins demand. Instead he has chosen to offer us the gift of grace that was ultimately displayed to us through Jesus. What is true in David’s life is true in your life as well. God is ready to be as gracious to you as he was to David. With him there is no favoritism (Romans 2:11, Acts 10:34, Colossians 3:25).
But, there is a “key” to God’s grace (2 Samuel 12:13), which we’ll talk about tomorrow.