Message of Grace

PUBLISHED BY GRACE CHAPEL MINISTRIES OF O’BRIEN, FLORIDA

“FOR BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED THROUGH FAITH; AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES: IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD: NOT OF WORKS, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST” EPHESIANS 2 :8

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VOLUME VI

APRIL - JUNE 2005

ISSUE 2

DEBTORS AT THE CAVE OF ADULLAM

And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men. 1 Samuel 22:2


The LORD seldom does things according to man’s logic. When men are preparing for battle they always, assume that the key to victory is to follow the advice of the old Civil war general, Nathan B. Forrest, who purportedly said, “Get thar fustest with the mostest”. Yet the LORD instructed Gideon to go into battle with 300 men against a force that vastly out numbered them. Common sense would say that a shepherd lad armed only with a slingshot and a few stones was no match for a seasoned warrior who stood nine and a half feet tall. Yet David (in the power of GOD) slew Goliath and ultimately cut off his head with Goliath’s own sword. Daniel could not possibly survive a night alone with ravenous lions yet he lived while his accusers were ultimately destroyed.

The scripture says “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Prov 14:12) So it is that men, in their “supposed” wisdom, think that they can win favor with GOD by their own righteousness. Some think this righteousness can be found in moral living. So they take great comfort in believing themselves to be honorable, by comparing themselves to those who are morally lax. They see sin as something other people do. They may join campaigns against immoral behavior and take pride in being upright citizens. Yet when the LORD JESUS walked upon the earth HE kept company with drunkards and harlots (see Mat.11:19) and said to those who judged themselves to be righteous, “Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.” (Matt 21:31-32)

According to the reasoning of men, GOD is pleased by their activity and service, whether to GOD or their fellow man. In fact, most think that by doing good deeds to others they can earn favor with GOD and enhance their likelihood of acceptance by HIM. They do not know that it is “Not by works of righteousness which we have done” (Tit.3:5) wherein we have received HIS mercy.

Some think that their righteousness is demonstrated by their faithful religious service. They go about saying prayers, going to church meetings, giving of their time, money, and talent assured in their own minds that what they are doing must be pleasing to the LORD. They think that their “righteousness in these things” is more acceptable to HIM than the actions of those who are irreligious or atheists. Surely, it must count for something. The Pharisee’s were the epitome of extremely devoted religious men, yet the LORD said “except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 5:20)

Many marveled at this revelation and said among themselves, who then can be saved? The answer to that question is that no man can be saved by his own righteousness. That which men judge to be righteous is no righteousness at all. “There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Rom.3:10) “ But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isa.64:6)

The gospel (good news) of the LORD JESUS CHRIST is that HE has obtained redemption for sinners. HE has become the righteousness of those who have none of their own to claim before Almighty GOD. In the days of David’s habitation in the cave of Adullam there were many who were drawn to him. Those who became his followers were not upstanding and prosperous citizens. They were those who were in trouble with the law, in debt, discontent, and in distress. In general terms they were undesirables. But their unworthiness in the sight of men in general was exactly the reason they were drawn to David, a man who gave them hope.

Only as a man is made to see and know his own hopeless condition will he seek the LORD for aid. As long as he holds out some expectation for obtaining favor with GOD by his own works, he will never believe the Gospel nor find any comfort therein. When a man knows himself to be a condemned sinner without excuse then that man, by the grace of GOD, will fly to the LORD for help and according to the scripture will find it. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom.10:13).

mam