David now explains how God rewarded him according to his righteousness. This raises many different theological questions. Instead of addressing each question, it is best just to see what is actually stated in the text.
God delighted in David
It is clear from this passage and many others that God did not choose David because of David’s righteousness. God chose David because of His grace. He delighted in David because of Who God was, not because of what God found in David. God’s choice of Israel follows this same line of thought (Deuteronomy 7:7, 9:5-6.) God’s choice of Christians is also in the same line (1 Corinthians 1:26-31.)
God’s law did not change
God’s law has always been that those who obey are blessed and those who do not obey are cursed. God’s grace does not change His nature or His law. God is like a teacher giving an exam; if you get the questions right you pass the test. So it is in God’s law. We must be righteous to stand before a Holy God. A proper understanding of God’s Word should turn us away from self-righteousness and cause us to give all glory to God for our salvation. A student may receive an “A” in a class but where did they learn the material? The teacher who praises them is also the one who taught them how to work out the problems. The passing of the class is more a reflection on the teacher than it is on the student even thought the student is rewarded by the teacher.
How David stayed righteous
David placed a hedge around the right path so that he would not deviate. He was able to keep on the right path by constantly placing God’s Word in front of himself. He refused to put them out of his sight. He constantly meditated on God’s Law. In addition to this David strove to be upright before God, not just men. He fought against his own secret sins.
David is declared righteous by God
Because of this God delivers David. David is seen a clean in the eyes of God. David is delivered because God saw him as righteous.
This passage gives us such a wonderful understanding of what it means to be saved by God’s grace. First, salvation is from sin and self. God delivers us from our old nature and imparts to us His nature. To be in Christ is to be a new creature. That is salvation at its core. Because of this, new creatures will live new ways. God works in us to will and do His good pleasure. He has begun a work that He will see to completion. People saved by grace will obey God’s law. They will be righteous people.
Do you have a right understanding of salvation?
What do your actions say about your relationship with God?
Are you placing God’s Law in front of you on a continual basis?
Are you fighting against your private sins?
Will you cry out to Jesus for His saving grace?