"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10)
The 11th of the month is Psalm 51 day, perhaps the greatest prayer of repentance anywhere. I pray it regularly whether I am aware of a particular sin or not.
Most think of David's chief sin as his relationship with Bathsheba. But when later writers are speaking of David and how he, "did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life," they add, "except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite." When most people think of David's "great sin," they think of Bathsheba, not Uriah. This is not an attempt to make any particular sin greater or worse than another. James 2:10 says, "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all."
David's betrayal of Uriah the Hittite was despicable. Uriah was among David's 30 great men; he was a friend. Uriah was a man of great integrity. You remember that he would not go to his house when David brought him back from the battle because, "The ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields." The way David dealt with Uriah was betrayal of the first order.
When we read Psalm 51, we read perhaps the deepest regret, sorrow and conviction in David's existence. Here David repents of the sin with Bathsheba and the betrayal of Uriah, adultery and murder. David never mentions the adulterous affair with Bathsheba, but the first 13 verses reveal his tortured soul over the matter. In verse 14, however, we do see a direct referral to the murder of Uriah, "Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness."
This was conspiracy of the worst order. This was David, "the sweet psalmist of Israel," the mighty warrior, the shepherd king, the one credited with God's promise, "I made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David: 'Your seed I will establish forever, and build up your throne to all generations,'" fulfilled in our Lord Jesus Christ, "son of David." The Good Shepherd/Savior of mankind, Jesus, did deliver David; Nathan told him, "The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die." But you can read in the context that Nathan told David there would be consequences to his sin. Now some would call this judgment, and while that may be a part of it, there is also in the admonition the inherent consequence of sin, the sowing and reaping principle.
Yes, God forgave David's sin, and you and I can rejoice in the fact that, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Yet too many today take Jesus' forgiveness as a license to sin. Go to confession, ask forgiveness, a little church-going, a little worship, a little shouting, some tithing-------- and right back out to the same unchanged life as before. Remember the old 50's song, "Though it makes Him sad to see the way we live, He'll always say, 'I forgive.'" So why do anything about sin in our lives? No big deal; "He'll always say, 'I forgive.'" Yet nowhere in Biblical Theology do we read that forgiveness equals consequence eradication. The dictionary defines "consequence" as "the effect, result, or outcome of something occurring earlier, an act or instance of following something as an effect, result, or outcome." Forgiveness of my sin does not eradicate consequences.
So many people are confused as to things which occur in their lives; they blame God, others, the government, etc. What they fail or refuse to see is that there is so much malady in our lives which has come as a result of sin which was sown long, long ago, forgiven, though it may have been. "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." The "word" to the Church today is, Be very, very careful what we are sowing. "Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life." What a frightening, yet at the same time, glorious choice.
Father, in Jesus' Name, Holy Spirit, I seek grace and mercy in this awesome choice in life. I want, "to please the Spirit;" please help me in life's sowing. Amen.
When Peter, an 18 year old Norwegian, "heard the call to evangelize China, on that day he not only emptied his wallet into the collection plate, but included a small note with the words, 'and my life.'"
"Looking unto Jesus"
"Looking unto Jesus"