Monday, October 26, 2015
Psalms 58:4 – 5 Their venom is like the venom of a snake, like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears, that will not heed the tune of the charmer, however skillful the enchanter may be.
On April 16, 2007, a student at Virginia Tech University went on a shooting spree, killing 32 people and wounding 16 others before killing himself. The first person he killed was a former girlfriend.
What causes a person to feel so desperate and alone that his only solution is to inflict pain and death upon others before ending his own life? Is there anything that could have been said to him to change his heart?
At the risk of sounding extremely pessimistic and fatalistic, the answer may be nothing. It is a sad truth that evil has invaded the human race and so totally deceived and depraved mankind that from birth our hearts are desperately wicked. So wicked, in fact, that it cannot be understood in human terms.
Psalm 58 is a description of the condition of the sinful heart, and it is not pretty. In our natural, sinful, depraved state, we devise injustice, and mete out violence on the earth. We speak lies and our hearts have become so hardened by sin that we cannot even hear the voice of the One who could change it all.
The Psalmist describes our condition by using the analogy of a cobra – you know, the snake that appears to stand up and dance when it hears flute music. We are like cobras that have stopped up their ears and will not heed the tune of the charmer, however skillful the enchanter may be.
Mankind is in a totally deplorable condition. There is no escape, even in death…EXCEPT through the shed blood of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin. But man is not listening to the Eternal Charmer of his soul, who is playing the sweet music of redemption. Our sinful state we are not capable of hearing unless God’s grace penetrates our heart. Even though we are in a totally sinful state deserving of death, God’s love initiates contact.
God’s love is unique and distinct from what we understand. His love is demonstrated in this – while we were still in our sin, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) Then Christ sent the Holy Spirit to the earth to convict us of their sin and draw us to God so that we could be saved.
Imagine that – God touched the untouchable. He loved the unlovable. He died for the dying. Not because we earned it or deserved it, but because He is love, and the full expression of His love is the gift of His own Son Jesus to die our deserved death. The grace of God is truly amazing.
How awed we are at the marvelous grace of God. How can we ever take for granted what God did to rescue us from the humanly inescapable grip of sin? May our ears never be stopped up with the wax of worldliness so we cannot hear the Holy Spirit speak the words of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness.
I cannot help but repeat the words of this great song of worship.
Marvelous grace of our loving God,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt,
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt!
Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss.
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge the mighty cross.
Dark is the stain that we cannot hide,
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide;
Whiter than snow you may be today.
Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within!
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!
Grace that is greater than all our sin! No matter what the level of discouragement or despair, turn your eyes upon Jesus, and look full in His wonderful face. The things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.