Though the Righteous Fall Seven Times

As I was reading my Bible this morning a verse from Proverbs 24 caused me to pause and reflect. The verse was in the midst of a long list of proverbs giving direction in living, and was a warning to the wicked not to seek to harm one who trusted in the Lord. It was not that particular warning that caught my eye as much as it was the reason given to refrain from such a heinous act: “for the righteous falls seven times and rises again.”

 

Too often our view of the Christian life is one of continual victory over evil, growing love for Christ, and a heart full of the joy of the Lord. Granted, this is something that we all desire (and experience in part) but reality does not all always measure up to such an elevated standard. Because of the remaining sin in our life, we find ourselves battling fear, despair, anger, lust, selfishness, and other sins of the flesh and sometimes coming out on the losing end of the conflict. That is why it was so comforting for me to read that although the righteous (those who have been declared righteous by God through faith in Christ alone) may “fall seven times (or more)” they will “rise again” because of the sanctifying work of God’s Word and Spirit.

 

Samuel Davies, an 18th century Presbyterian pastor, penned a hymn that expresses my joy in knowing that our hope is not to rest on our actions, but on the pardoning grace of our Great God of Wonders:

 

Great God of wonders, all Thy ways

Are righteous, matchless and divine;

But the blest triumphs of Thy grace

Most marvelous, unrivalled, shine;

Who is a pardoning God like Thee?

Or who has grace so rich and free?

 

Crimes of such horror to forgive,

Such guilty, daring worms to spare;

This is Thy grand prerogative,

And none can in that honour share;

Pardon, O God, is only Thine;

Mercy and grace are all divine.

 

In wonder lost, with trembling joy,

We hail the pardon of our God,

Pardon for crimes of deepest dye,

A pardon traced in Jesus’ blood.

To pardon thus is Thine alone;

Mercy and grace are both Thine own.

 

Soon shall this strange, this wondrous grace,

This perfect miracle of love,

Fill the wide earth, while sweeter praise

Sounds its own note in heaven above:

Who is a pardoning God like Thee?

Or who has grace so rich, so free?

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Ashley said,

    April 7, 2009 at 3:05 PM

    Won’t it be nice to be glorified?!

  2. cliftonr said,

    April 7, 2009 at 3:13 PM

    The Shorter Catechism says it well:

    Q. 37. What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death?
    A. The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness,[105] and do immediately pass into glory;[106] and their bodies, being still united in Christ,[107] do rest in their graves, till the resurrection.[108]

    Q. 38. What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection?
    A. At the resurrection, believers, being raised up in glory,[109] shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgment,[110] and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoying of God[111] to all eternity.[112]

    I am looking forward to that!!! CR

  3. Robert said,

    November 3, 2009 at 8:23 AM

    Thanks for posting the words of Samuel Davies wonderful hymn. Today is the 286th anniversary of his birth. And his message to us from nearly 3 centuries ago is just as relevant and just as needful as when he wrote it. It’s only as we see sin against God as it is, that we can begin to appreciate the wonder of God’s grace.

    • cliftonr said,

      November 3, 2009 at 9:31 AM

      Samuel Davies was always a hero of mine. Your comment is “spot on.”

      “Who is a pardoning God like Thee

      Or who has grace so rich, so free?”


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