In our blog “A Sinner,” I (we) got honest about my (our) propensity to play hide and seek with sin. We hide our sin and seek out the sins of others. But it is not about me compared to others, but to Jesus Christ. We cannot escape – “You are the man!” We must own our sin and “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (See I John 1:5-10)
King David after being confronted by the prophet Nathan – “You are the man!” – finally owned his sin. (2 Samuel 12:1-15) Following this episode David wrote Psalm’s 51 and 32. Let’s focus on Psalm 51 and note what he did to become a sinner forgiven.
David confessed that he had sinned and admitted the heaviness of the burden. He then called upon God trusting in His lovingkindness and tender mercies. Wash me clean the repentant king asked. (vs. 1-3) We are cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. (Rev.12:11)
David then said something that troubles a lot of people. He says, “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight…” (v.4) What about Bathsheba and Uriah and the great multitude of people that got very hurt or even destroyed by his sin and its terrible consequences? But David understood something we all need to know: all of our sin, our lawlessness, is ultimately against a holy God and His divine law. The hurt we cause or inflict on others, even on ourselves, tears His loving and just heart asunder. In the end, we hurt Him the most. “How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” (Matt 23:37)
David then recalled that he was born in sin and a sinner he is. And that we are folks. Me. You. We cannot fix us; only God can. Therefore, make me whiter than snow, heal my brokenness and blot out these stains I have caused. (vs. 5-9) Clean my heart with newness and renew my spiritual communion with You, O God. And above all: “Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” (vs. 10, 11) Hold on to me, Lord, even if I foolishly let go of You, please hold on to me. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ…?” (Rom 8:35)
The Lord God does indeed hold onto a floppy and floundering us. David, like a disobedient child making amends with a good parent, desired to climb into his Father’s lap. David wanted his joy back. David wanted to know for sure that God’s salvation, like a good parent’s unconditional love, is the most certain thing in life. (v. 12) “My sheep hear My voice…they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:27, 28)
David then determines: “I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You…my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness…my mouth shall show forth Your praise.” (vs.13-15) The Lord’s love and grace and forgiveness, given and received, inspired the repentant king to shout it from the rooftops. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” (Matt 28:19)
David concludes the psalm espousing the greatest truth, missed by so many, that God has not called us to a religion with Him, but to a relationship with Him. (Vs. 16-19) “As the Father loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.” (John 15:9)
Are you a sinner forgiven? Are you cleansed, made whole, anxious to tell others of God’s lovingkindness and tender mercies? Are you repulsed by religion and rejoicing in a restored relationship with your Creator?