Monday, May 2, 2011

Such As I

It has been a wet Spring.  Out on the parking lot I can find many of these doomed worms.

They've been driven out of the ground by the water and now risk drowning in the puddles.  They are easy prey for the birds.  If they escape the birds and the damp, they will dry out and become worm crisps.

Meanwhile, they blindly grope in the vast blackness of the parking lot.  They have no eyes, no map, no hope.  They are doomed.  Do they know it?

Isaac Watts wrote "Alas! and did my Savior bleed? And did my Sovereign die?  Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?" 

But this kind of language is unpopular now.  Our church hymnal reads, "...For sinners such as I?"  Others are evidently shy about even calling people "sinners."  They have, "...For such a one as I?"

I believe that Watts had it right and that it is good for us to recognize the truth about ourselves and about our salvation.
(Romans 5:6–8 NKJV) For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 
Jesus did not die for us because we were so attractive to God, but in spite of the fact that we were repulsive rebels - hopeless & helpless.  We were doomed.  We were slimy with sin.  We were groping about blindly while waiting to die.
(Ephesians 2:4–5 NKJV) But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
It doesn't require mercy to be kind to nice people.  It is not remarkable to show love to people who love you.  There is no grace in giving people what they deserve.

But we were truly worms - dead in our trespasses and in sins - willing subjects of the Prince of the power of the air - children of disobedience who walked according to the course of this fallen world.

Only when I recognize the truth about myself in my lost condition can I properly appreciate the magnitude of God's love for me in Jesus Christ.

Alas, and did my Savior bleed?
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

Was it for crimes that I have done,
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide,
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died
For man the creature's sin.

But drops of grief can ne'er repay
The debt of love I owe;
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
'Tis all that I can do!

~ Isaac Watts

No comments: