“There is no way.” Have those words ever crossed your lips? I think all of us have experienced those moments when we consider our options and we see no possibility of them all fitting together. The realities that we are faced with simply cannot be worked out. Perhaps financial realities that don’t add up, or relationships that seem destined for failure, or health situations that seem too much: whatever the case we have all experienced moments of facing the impossible.
I’m glad God never feels that way. I was encouraged by 2 Samuel 14:14 this week that God can do the impossible. The context here is David’s exiling of Absalom after Absalom killed his half-brother Amnon for his wicked actions against Tamar (Absalom’s sister). Joab decides to intervene and attempt to bring Absalom back to Jerusalem. The method he uses is sending a wise woman into David to make a request and then using David’s own answer against him; much like in the case of the prophet Nathan in 2 Samuel 12. In the course of her speech to David she shares the truth of verse 14.
The first half of verse 14 shares the truth about all humanity: we must all die as righteous judgment for our sin and God has no respect of persons. In other words the judgment is set and there is no way around it since God doesn’t take bribes and doesn’t favour the rich or powerful. However, the end of the verse says “yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him.”
Now at first glance this seems impossible: if all humanity is destined to die as that is the just punishment for their sin; and if God is just and doesn’t have any respect of persons; than how can his banished not be expelled from Him? If God is truly just, than all sinners must die, and since all of humanity are sinners they must all die and be expelled from God’s presence. If they are not; either God is not as just as we thought and really does have a soft spot for certain categories of people; or some humans are perfectly righteous. Both of these propositions are contradictory to truth and must be rejected. So how can God devise means that his banished be not expelled from him? How can God maintain His justice while pardoning and bringing back convicted offenders? There is no way!
Ah, but there is, and it is found at the cross of Jesus Christ. There Jesus the Son of God, being fully God and fully man, takes the punishment that we human rebels deserved. He the innocent is banished from God’s presence so that we the guilty can be brought near. In the cross of Christ, God can be fully just in forgiving the sin of humanity by placing all of it on His Son and taking His wrath against sin out on Him. In the cross Jesus becomes sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Oh what wondrous love is this that we banished ones can be brought near through the blood of Christ. God is just in pardoning sinners because His Son has taken their place. There is a way for sin to be forgiven, for the expelled to return, for the banished to be restored; it is found in Jesus Christ.
Receive Jesus, rejoice in Jesus and remember God makes a way where there is no way. With men this is impossible but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26) Be encouraged in Christ, that if God can devise means to bring you as a banished sinner home, he can surely make a way of escape in the situation you are facing! There is a way.