Reading: “I have provided me a king.” 1 Samuel 16:1

When you consider the unfolding of God’s gracious purpose from the beginning of creation you will notice that it has almost always occurred at those times when human reason would have least expected it. The first gospel promise was made after they had rebelled against their Maker, tried their own way, and hid in fear behind the trees of the garden. Also, the first open manifestation of the everlasting covenant was made after all flesh had corrupted its way on earth and the flood had decimated the human race leaving only eight souls surviving. We see this same principle as it relates to God setting up David as king. For upwards of five centuries a general state of lawlessness prevailed when “every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Yet even at the darkest hour, God had already prepared the instrument of His deliverance; it was “a man after God’s own heart.”

Now notice that this principle of unexpected grace operates in our lives today. The default religion of fallen man is human merit; Adam proved that. Perhaps you imagine God will bring about some disaster in your life because you’ve not been as faithful as you ought. Or perhaps you imagine God will never save your loved one because his or her behavior right now is deserving of wrath and not mercy.

Remember that when Israel was as wicked as could be, God sent a king after His own heart. This of course, is the heart of the gospel. When humanity was in its darkest hour, God provided a King, a greater than David—Jesus Christ. And such grace came when we would least have expected it; “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Grace can neither be bought, earned, or won by the creature. If it could be, it would cease to be grace.Arthur W. Pink