“But God was displeased with this thing, and he struck Israel. And David said to God, ‘I have sinned greatly in that I have done this thing. But now, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.’ And the Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer, ‘Go and say to David, “Thus says the Lord, Three things I offer you; choose one of them, that I may do it to you.” So Gad came to David and said, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Choose..: either three years of famine, or three months of devastation by your foes while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or three days of the sword of the Lord, pestilence on the land, with the angel of the Lord destroying throughout Israel.”‘ Then David said, ‘I am in great distress. Let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is very great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man.’
“So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel, and 70,000 men of Israel fell. God sent the angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but as he was about to destroy it, the Lord saw, and relented from the calamity. He said to the angel who was working destruction, ‘It is enough; now stay your hand.’” 1 Chronicles 21:7-15a
Almighty God exists as a most exquisite blend of all His attributes. He is indescribable and beyond compare and comprehension, and worthy of deep worship for that very mystery. He who is holy and just and rightly displeased with our sin is also moved with gracious compassion for the judgment it incurs. By His justice, He must act against it; by His mercy, He must intercede for His own. In love, He stays the hand of justice by putting His nail-scarred hand in its place. This is the hand into which David chose to fall. (Isaiah 40:18; Micah 7:18-20; John 3:16; 1 John 1:9)
The Lord Jesus is the beautiful, perfect blend of God-man to be our Savior. The hands that gripped his mother Mary’s fingers, guided his carpenter tools, touched the leper, and overthrew the temple tables are the same that were pierced for our transgressions at Calvary. He laid aside heavenly glory to live on earth to love and work and heal and die for sin on our behalf. Beautifully just and merciful, loving and faithful, He lives glorified today. There is no lack nor longing He cannot meet. (Matthew 8:2-3; 21:12-13; John 19:17-18; 20:20,25-27)
What sin habit, grief, regret, self-deprecation, bitterness, am I withholding from my Redeemer’s hands? What gift of gratitude, adoration, and love will I raise my hands to offer Him?
“Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
late in time behold him come,
offspring of the Virgin’s womb:
veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
hail th’incarnate Deity,
pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Immanuel.
Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
born that we no more may die,
born to raise us from the earth,
born to give us second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
‘Glory to the newborn King!'” ~Charles Wesley (1739)
Glory to You, newborn King and heavenly Savior, for all You are and do!