He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. (Psalm 103:10)
We Don’t Get What We Deserve
It is hard to understand the depravity of the human spirit when the character of the human soul considers itself to be worthy of honor. For the most part, a person is a good character in many ways. Many elements of the world are vile, rebellious, wicked, and immoral. The majority of the people on earth have a good moral compass, but their lives are not governed by a higher righteous law. A nonbeliever can be a good man. The goodness of a man’s worth can be measured in his kindness, generosity, love, and willingness to help others. These are good traits that help make the world a better place. It does not make a man righteous.
The struggle of the human identity has always been to see the value of the human soul in regard to the righteousness of God. When a man is told he is a sinner, he evaluates his life by his good deeds failing to appreciate the deeper consequence of his relationship with God. There are only two kinds of people in the world – righteous and unrighteous. This characterization can only be defined as good and evil, holy and unholy, or saved and lost. There is no third option to call a man good or benevolent. In the eyes of God, there can only be righteous and unrighteous. A man’s relationship with God is measured by whether the man does the will of the Father, not if he is religious or not. Understanding the true character of a man is where seeking salvation begins.
Sin is a transgression of the law of God, and every man sins. The relationship between man and God is solely based on how man acknowledges the nature of sin. If he refuses to admit he is a sinner who needs grace, God will never mean anything to him. Each time the Bible reveals a person’s true character is when the heart understands the nature of sin. Noah built the ark, moved by godly fear, believing in the power of grace and mercy because he understood the consequence of sin. Abraham was justified by faith as a measure of knowing his need for a loving God. David experienced the forgiveness of the Lord God when the man after God’s own heart sinned with Bathsheba. He said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
David wrote in Psalm 103 how he understood the grace of God. Looking at himself through the mirror of self-introspection, David knew if God dealt with him as he deserved, he would not live. Comparing God’s righteousness and man’s sinful nature is where man realizes how God should punish man but does not. Everyone deserves God’s wrath, the Lord’s anger, and the righteous judgment of a fearful and living God. And yet – God does not punish according to what a man deserves. He should deal harshly with sinful men. There is every right for the Lord to punish a man for what he really deserves. God does not.
There is no comparison to the mercy of God. On his best day, a man can never measure up to the loving-kindness of a forgiving Father. As the man who prayed at the temple implored, “God be merciful to me, a sinner.” There is nothing else to say. When we have done all we can do, we are still unprofitable servants worthy of death. The grace of God says otherwise. First, God sent His Son so that we can have forgiveness through His blood. Allowing sinful man to be in His presence is the great measure of grace given to man. Second, the Father has promised sinful man to dwell with Him in eternity, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, and risen to walk in newness of life. We are not punished according to our sin and iniquity. Thank God.