Today’s readings.. (2 Samuel 18), (Jeremiah 22), (Romans 9)
    The special lesson we learn today, in what we can call ‘the bottom line’ is that in the end everything depends upon God’s mercy toward us – because no one can “earn” salvation by their own righteousness. We read of David’s distress of mind over Absalom; his emotional love for his wayward son would not allow him to think clearly.  All his life until his grievous sins, he had seen life from God’s point of view, as many Psalms reveal.
    It is sin that distracts us from seeing clearly.  Paul makes a valuable point in our Romans chapter. He asks, when God “hates” someone like Esau “is there injustice on God’s part?”  The answer!  “By no means” [9 v.14] He then makes the point, “For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion’ Thus it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who has mercy.”[v.15,16] 
    We can in no way ‘earn’ salvation, our lives are spent in doing what we can to show our heart-felt appreciation of his mercy.  Jesus gave his life for us, how motivated are we to serve Christ as a result?  Recall how Paul expresses it at the end of Romans ch. 5, “…as sin reigned in death (before he/we knew Christ) grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
     The righteousness of our Lord “covers” all our sins because grace reigns!  How wonderful.  David realised the wonder of God’s mercy more fully after his sin – and we are inspired by some of his Psalms written on that theme – see particularly Psalm 25, 51, 69, 106 & 109 – so David’s sin “worked together for good” for other struggling believers – right down through the Centuries – refreshed in spirit by his words – so we see the deeper purpose and wisdom of God in making use of David’s intense spirituality.
    On the other hand the letter to the Hebrews has a verse of dire warning. After writing of the punishment of sinners  under the Law of Moses the question is put, “How much worse punishment, do you think will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the spirit of grace?” [10 v.29]   May we so live that we are among the “vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory – even us whom he has called …” [Rom. 9 v.23,24]  In the Scriptures we ‘hear’ him calling!  Are you listening properly?