Can anything good come out of sin? Can anything good come out of walking through the valley of the shadow of death? Let me tell you something that has subtly crept into the church. Are you ready? We believe that church is just for us. We look at things in the church through the wrong lenses–and we know how that goes, when you grab the wrong glasses. So when something comes along, new or otherwise, we need to change our attitudes. But look at Psalm 51:13-15:
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
Take, oh, our sin. We come along and praise God for forgiving us of our sin, then we stop. “Forgiven! Clean! That’s all the matters!” But look at what David said should God forgive him: “Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.” In other words, when God takes us through that valley of the shadow of death and our sin, He brings us out so we can teach others about the justice, holiness, righteousness, love, and deliverance of our mighty God! How?
Singing aloud of your righteousness. Did you realize that singing songs of forgiveness is a teaching tool? Granted, some songs say little, so the worship leadership needs to pick songs of salvific substance. Sing about the cross (1 Corinthians 2:2), the empty tomb (Philippians 2:8-11), the blood (Ephesians 1:7) and our sin (Psalm 51). Sing of His worth (Revelation 5:9-11). Thank him (Ephesians 5:18-19) and encourage in His Word through song (Colossians 3:15-16). Sing it loud!
Speak aloud of His praise! When God loosens the tongue, like Zechariah, we will sing praises to him (Luke 1:67-79). God intends for us to use our words to exalt him and to edify others around us in the gospel! Paul urges the Colossians, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:6). Salt is used as a preservative, to preserve the things of Christ and the gospel in a lost and dying world. So may our speech in a world with a propensity to sin preserve the truth of the gospel, even if others do not wish to hear it.
Some lessons we only learn in the valley. But God will be with us in Christ, to help others who travel in that valley as well. Even God can bring good out of something so bad.
What a mighty God we serve!