“The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me” (2 Samuel 22:21).
Imagine Jesus praying the following:
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 am not guilty of 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.
Now, look at the prayer again and imagine an adulterer, a sexual predator, a liar, a murderer praying these words.
These words are recorded as David’s song of praise at the end of his life. As David reflects on his life he sings these words as a praise to God.
How could David claim the following?
- Deal with me according to my righteousness?
- I have been rewarded according the the cleanness of my hands?
- I have kept the ways of the LORD?
- I am not guilty of turning from my God?
- I have not turned away from God’s decrees?
- I have been blameless?
- I have kept myself from sin?
Seriously?!?! You’ve got some gumption, David!!! How could any human being ever claim these words? They would have to be completely delusional. There is not one human being who could ever claim these words.
Except one. Jesus.
This is why sound theology is so important. This is called substitutionary atonement. Jesus took our place and paid the penalty for sin. Therefore, when God sees us, he cannot see us apart from seeing his Son who lives in us. When we ask for forgiveness and repent, Christ’s righteousness covers us and our sins are no longer visible.
This is what it means that Christ lives in me.
How could David say/sing such words? Because of Jesus. Because he is our Shepherd, our Lord, our Savior.