October 27, 2021 – Wednesday
Isaiah 26:10 NIV
10 But when grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and do not regard the majesty of the Lord.
Grace in the verse above is not grace as we know it, that is, forgiveness of sins through Jesus’ sacrifice upon the cross. However, often everyone would know grace or favor such as the blessings of a good harvest and general prosperity. This is what Jesus was speaking of when He said in Matthew 5:45, He [Father in heaven] causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For similar thoughts you might consider Luke 6:35 and Acts 14:17.
When do the wicked learn about righteousness? The prior verse provides a good portion of the answer, My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness. So, a question arises, do judgments teach righteousness better than grace does?
Clearly for some judgments are absolutely necessary before a sinner will move toward righteousness. It is often said and alcoholic or drug user must reach dead bottom (or judgment) before they will change their ways. Instead, when
everything seems fine, people of all sorts tend to neglect God because they just don’t feel a need for Him. Then judgment almost always gets a person’s attention one way or another. Oddly enough, looking at it this way, we can see judgment as a form of grace when it starts moving folks toward God.
Grace or favor can be refused in the most minor of things as well. I remember when a man was offered free coffee at a particular establishment. Someone had paid for his coffee as many times as he would show up. It may be difficult to believe, but he initially refused the coffee unless his benefactor was made known to him. He refused to drink coffee until he knew who was paying for it. His only ‘leverage’ was to refuse the free gift. He came to realize that was no leverage at all as he only denied himself the coffee he desired. He finally accepted the free gift of coffee. God’s favor is like that, we have no leverage. His Grace through His Son Jesus on the cross is also free and we have no leverage their as well. We either accept it and the life it requires of us – moving toward righteousness or we do not.
Some refuse the gift because they have not yet hit bottom, or they do not want to give up a life of sin or they do not (so they say) believe in the existence of God. The latter brings to mind an aphorism by Don Colacho, What is important is not that man believe in the existence of God; what is important is that God exist. God exists whether we choose to believe or not. We have no leverage. None. All we have is the incredible offer of Grace from a loving and merciful Creator.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for the Grace You have provided through Your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And thank You for Your patience and long suffering in waiting for us (me) to accept Your gift of Grace. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton in Beavercreek