A Psalm of Repentance

We have only two weeks left of The Story Of David series. This coming Sunday we will study his well known fall from grace. David committed both murder and adultery. We’ll explore the story more fully on Sunday, but for now, I’d like to examine the prayer he wrote to God after doing these horrific things. It is a raw, heartfelt prayer.

Here’s how he begins:

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
—Psalm 51:1-2

After straying so far from God, it would have been tempting for David to hide from God and never own his choices. How often do we, after having made a bad choice, make it worse by denying it, lying about it, or seeking to cover it up? This creates a snowball of negative choices.

David does the right thing, with a bit of encouragement from the prophet Nathan. David goes to God and seeks forgiveness for his sinful actions. He seeks to be washed and cleansed.

I know there are times in life when we seek this from God too, aren’t there?

When we’ve made a mistake and we’re ready to make it right.

It is beautiful to realize that no matter how badly we’ve messed up, we can stillrely on God’s unfailing love and compassion. But like David, we need to take the initiative and ask God for mercy and healing. And sometimes that first step is the hardest.

A bit later in the psalm…

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
—Psalm 51:10-12

Notice the verbs David uses here: create, renew and restore. David recognizes his need for internal change after his horrible mistakes. David knows that his heart needs to change and his Spirit needs to change.

Where do you need God to create something new in you?

What part of your life needs to be restored or renewed by God?

Even if we haven’t made a big mistake like King David, we can still ask God to transform us from the inside out. By doing so we recognize that God is always working in us, seeking to renew and restore the parts of our lives that are distant from God. We can be active partners with God  when we recognize what needs to change, and actively approach God with these areas of our lives.

There will be much more to explore on Sunday but for now I encourage you to read Psalm 51 a couple of times. It is beautiful and challenging and heartfelt.

Wednesday Night Dinner tomorrow is lasagna. Join us at 5:45 pm.

This Sunday is the soup and chili cook off at 12:15 pm.

See you on Sunday!

—Pastor David

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