Tue, 4 February 2020
(2Sm.24:2,9-17; Ps.32:1-2,5-7, Mk.6:1-6)
“I acknowledged my sin to you;
my guilt I covered not.”
The Lord can heal only those who believe in Him, who turn to Him in their guilt to be saved.
David has sinned against the Lord once again. His kingdom had been blessed by the Lord and was flourishing in His sight. Rather than accept the blessings the Lord poured upon him and so find their increase, the king sought control over that which should have been left in the hands of God by numbering the people who had been the Lord’s gift to him. And so now their number shall be decreased in his sight.
But David regrets his sin, acknowledging it before the Lord and begging His pardon: “I have sinned grievously in what I have done. But now, Lord, forgive the guilt of your servant, for I have been very foolish,” and he throws himself on the mercy of God. The Lord does destroy some seventy thousand in the kingdom, but relents at David’s intercession for the sheep under his rule who have done no wrong – the king entreats, “Punish me and my kindred,” and then offers an appeasing sacrifice to God.
David’s sin is severe and has serious consequences, but the Lord is faithful in forgiving him when he calls out to Him. However, when “Jesus went to His own part of the country,” as shown in our gospel, their hearts were closed against Him and He could share no grace. Were they any less sinners than David? Had they any less need of His forgiveness, of His healing? Their hardness of heart itself proves otherwise, but, sadly, “they found Him too much for them”; and “their lack of faith,” which distressed the Lord, prevented them from knowing the mercy found by their ancestor David. Ironically, it is their own closeness to Him and His human family that keeps them from recognizing the greatness of the grace which works through Him. Would they disown David, him whose sons they claim to be, if he had come to them in such a way? And yet Jesus they reject.
Brothers and sisters, our sights must be set on heaven and the mercy that falls from there through the Lord. We have all sinned as David in our foolishness. We must acknowledge it as he has, with faith that the Lord can heal us, that He walks amongst us as a brother to cure all our ills and teach us the way to love. If we listen without acceptance of Him in faith, “no miracle” will be worked in our lives – and it is a miracle we most need, for we simple servants must lay down our lives.
O LORD, let us not question the wonders
you work in our midst;
let us rejoice at the presence of your saving Son.
YHWH, forgive the guilt of our sin, that we have turned our backs on you and not believed in your providence, and not accepted your Son. How could we be so blind to your hand at work among us, and why should you be so kind as to stay the angel of death? We deserve to die for our sins against you, yet to our poor souls you offer forgiveness.
The teaching of Jesus is clear, His wisdom is of your perfect light, yet we question His miraculous presence in our midst. Holding to the earth we can see, we fail to recognize the glory we cannot see, the joy you bring us in being in the number of your holy ones. Staring too closely at what is at our hands, your transcendent Hand we miss, O LORD, even when He stands before us.
The burden of our guilt take from us, LORD, that we might be free of the punishment we deserve, that by your angels we might be blessed.