Focal Passage: Psalm 138:1-8
H.W. Beecher tells of a man who was not rich, but would on a periodic basis go into the courthouse in Boston and post bail for those who appeared to have no friends. It was the testimony of those he helped, that not one ever betrayed him or left him without showing their deepest gratitude. There are numerous reasons why these criminals displayed such gratefulness to this man, however, let me offer three that are applicable to this week’s lesson.
First, these men knew they were guilty of a crime. We do not know the reason why the crimes were committed, but nevertheless the men knew they were guilty. Have you ever been guilty of something and someone treats you with kindness anyway? For example, how many of you have exceeded the speed limit, got pulled over by a police officer, and he only gave you a warning? I have and I was praising Jesus’ name when the officer let me go. I believe when a person knows he is guilty and kindness and mercy is extended anyway, it is hard not to be grateful.
Secondly, these men knew there was a penalty to be paid for their crime. However, because of this man’s generosity and kindness they would taste freedom for a little longer. In my lesson guide for writing this commentary the author writes, “Gratitude arises from the acceptance of all of life as grace – as an undeserved and unearned gift from the Father’s hand.” In many ways, we are criminals. We all have broken God’s law and are due His just punishment. But God, in His grace and kindness offers infinite freedom from His eternal wrath through the finished work of His Son, Jesus Christ. How can we not be grateful?
Finally, knowing someone cares about you is a precious gift worthy of a grateful heart. The Bible says, but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Roman 5:8, ESV). Being loved by a holy God is the greatest thing to ever happen to us. Let us never forget it.