200 Words or Less: Gracious


This seems like an odd throw-in verse in a list of genealogies. But it’s not. God hates divorce, and He did not have to give Shaharaim anything, especially sons. Yet God blesses both the just and the unjust to point us to His perfection (Matt. 5:45-48).  It is out of that perfect character that God blesses, but the decision to bless the undeserving makes His choice gracious. It is the same with salvation.

God, in his freedom, chooses to save us, and we, in our regenerated state, praise Him for the blessing we could have never earned. It is the freedom of God’s will that makes the blessing of grace praiseworthy, not the freedom of man’s will. Too many people want to praise the opportunity to choose the gift of salvation. We ought to be praising God for choosing to give undeserving sinners forgiveness and eternal life. God’s free choice ought to be the focus of our praise, not our opportunity to choose. For when we praise the opportunity, we risk a man-centric gospel. But when we praise God’s election to save, our worship emulates a God-centered God by rejoicing in His gracious choice to bless.


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