Down But Not Out

Down But Not Out

I remember playing with weeble wobble toys growing up. You would knock them down, but they would regain balance and stand upright again…and again…and again. What a great picture of the life of the saint of God! Many experiences of life may seem to knock us down temporarily, but God’s grace will preserve His child to the end. A Christian may appear to be down for a moment, but he will never be out for good.

We see this truth vividly portrayed in the life of David. David was truly a man after God’s own heart. He was one who trusted in the Lord through life’s circumstances. But throughout his life, David was often seen knocked down by the troubles of life or by the sins that he committed. We see this in 1 Chronicles 21, when we have the account of David’s foolish decision to command a census. Israel belonged to God and it was up to God to command a counting of the people. But David, likely motivated by pride, took the bait of Satan’s temptation and counted the Israelites. Even with the warning from Joab and other captains of the host, David made a foolish decision to complete the census. David was down. He had brought trouble upon Israel because of his foolish decision. Yet, David knew that what he had done was wrong. He said, “I have sinned greatly…I have done very foolishly” (v. 8). David’s conscience smote him. Although David wasn’t sinless, he had a heart that was sensitive to sin in his life. He saw the pride that prompted him to such a thing.

David was down, but David wasn’t out. David acknowledged his sin. He took responsibility for his sin. And he sought after God. After David did such a foolish act, he quickly made things right. He bought the threshing floor of Ornan and built an altar before God and offered offerings unto God and called upon His name. He drew near to God and found the place of mercy. And David rose again.

Proverbs 24:16 says, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked fall into mischief.” David was a just man which means, not that he was sinless, but that his sin always drove him to God for mercy. What a picture of the saint of God! Matthew Henry said, “The sincere soul falls as a traveller may do, by stumbling at some stone in his path; but gets up, and goes his way with more care and speed.”

The righteous can be “confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). The mark of a righteous man is not a life devoid of falling into trouble or even sin, but a life that is characterized by a constant returning to the Lord! Life may knock you down, but God will raise you up!

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