For the choir director. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
David, a man after God’s own heart, who followed the Lord with all his heart, was still flesh and blood. He was still human, and he was tempted to sin as we all are. And, he gave in to that temptation. He first of all lusted after a woman who was the wife of another, and then he abused his power as king by having her brought to him so that he could sleep with her.
When he learned that she was now pregnant, he tried to get her husband to come home from battle to sleep with her so that it would look as though the child was his. And, when that didn’t work, because her husband was a man of honor and valor, then he had her husband murdered. But, even there he made it look like an act of war, in order to cover up his sin with the woman.
When the time of grieving her husband’s death was past, David married her, and they had the child together, but the child died, because of David’s sins.
But, prior to the child’s death, God sent Nathan the prophet to confront David with his sins, and when confronted, David repented of his sins. But, God let him know, even though he was forgiven, that there would be natural consequences for his sins. And, sometimes it is the same with us.
Psalm 51:1-4 NASB
Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.
Not one of us is perfect. Even though, as believers in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven our sins, we still live in flesh bodies, and therefore we are still capable of sin, even to the extent that David sinned against God and against his fellow humans. So, we must be careful if we think that we stand, lest we fall. For, pride comes before a fall.
So, we must make certain that we recognize our own humanity and our own propensity to sin so that we don’t, in pride, open up ourselves to fall big time into sin because we are stupid.
But, when we do sin, we must be honest with God and with those we sinned against, and we must own up to the sin and repent. And, repenting is not just confessing the wrong, but it is choosing to turn away from the wrong and to now do what is right.
For, to be followers of Jesus Christ, not one of us should be living in sin, repeating the same offenses over and over and over again. But, we should be learning from our failures, be growing in Christ, and we should be maturing in our walks of faith – by the Spirit daily putting our sins to death.
Psalm 51:5-9 NASB
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.
Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities.
Because the first man Adam sinned against God we, as humans, are all born into sin (Rom. 3:23; Rom. 5:12-19; 1 Co. 15:21-22, 42-49). We are separate from God and we are not able, in our own flesh, to be acceptable to God. But, that is not the end of the story, thank God!
God the Son, Jesus Christ, came to earth, took on human form, suffered and was tempted as we suffer and are tempted, yet without sin. And, although he was loved by some, he was hated by many, and eventually they put him to death on a cross.
But, this was God’s will that he should suffer in this way, for through Christ’s death and resurrection, we are able to be delivered from our slavery to sin, be born of the Spirit of God, and we are able to walk in holiness, in righteousness, and in purity in the strength of the Lord.
For, when Jesus died he put sin to death, on our behalf, so that through faith in him we might die with him to sin and live with him to his righteousness. So, this faith in Christ involves conformity to his righteousness through the power of God’s Spirit living within us, as we cooperate fully with the Spirit in his work of cleansing our hearts from sin.
But, this cleansing from sin he promises us must be preceded by honest confession, for if we withhold the truth and hold on to our lies, and then if we cover up the lies with even more sins against God and against others, we will never be free, and we will never be able to walk in victory over sin and in Christ’s righteousness, for we are still wearing the chains.
So, if we want to be free, we need to be honest, and then we need to turn from those sins to following our Lord in obedience and in surrender to his will for our lives.
Psalm 51:10-13 NASB
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.
When we are honest with God and with others concerning our sins, and we truly turn away from those sins to follow our Lord in obedience, he does renew us, and he does restore us to fellowship with him. And, then we are at peace. But, we will never know peace as long as we willfully hold on to sins and we refuse to be honest about them and to turn away from them.
But, when we do repent of our sins, and we turn to God or back to God to follow our Lord in surrender to his will for our lives, we are renewed in spirit, for we serve a loving, forgiving and compassionate God. Amen! And, we can know his joy once more, and he will strengthen us and help us to remain steadfast in our faith and to walk in purity with him, if we will let him.
And, in his strength and power at work within us we can live in victory over sin. We don’t have to keep repeating the same old sins over and over and over again, feeling continually defeated by our own inability to conquer sinful addictions. For, Jesus died to set us free!
We just have to bow the knee, resist Satan, flee temptation, cut out of our lives what is leading us into sin, then say “NO” to doing what we know is wrong and say “YES” to doing what we know is right, relying on God to sustain us and to help us through it all.
Then, when we are walking in freedom from the control of sin over our lives, and we are living for the Lord, and we are walking in his ways, although not perfectly, we can teach others how to also walk in the ways of the Lord and to live victoriously over sin.
But, we must guard against talking above what we ourselves are living, and we must guard against hypocrisy, and we must be honest, sincere, and genuine with others, or we do no one any good.
Psalm 51:14-17 NASB
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Your praise.
For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
If you have ever sinned as deeply as David sinned against God, you will know in your heart and in your emotions what David felt when he wrote this prayer of confession to God. This was no light or flippant confession of sin, shallow in nature, having no real power to it.
This was a man, broken in heart by his own sin, fully repentant, seeking God’s face for deliverance, not only from the sin itself, but from the guilt he felt in his heart over the horrible things which he had done. I get this fully!
Then, when God delivered him, and he was able to forgive himself, as well, the joy of his salvation was restored to his heart and mind, and he was able once more to sing praises to God. Amen!
What David learned from this, and what we all need to learn from this is that God is not interested in what we are willing to do for him, of our own choosing, if we are not willing to lay our lives down on the altar and give our lives fully to him for him to work his will and his ways in our lives.
What God desires from us is not service projects, especially while we willfully hold on to sinful practices. What he desires are broken and contrite hearts, fully repentant, humble, honest, and willing to be molded by him into his likeness, and to do what he has called each of us to be and to do.
Then, he can take us, and he can use us for his glory in the lives of others who also need the Lord, and who need to be broken before him, too.
He Reached Down
An Original Work / February 3, 2014
Based off Psalm 18
How I love You, Lord, my Rock and my strength.
My God is my fortress; I hide in Him.
He is my shield and the horn of
My salvation, whom I praise.
I have found my refuge in Him.
He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
Drew me out of waters so deep, I’d sink.
He delivered me from Satan
And my slavery to sin;
Gave me hope of heaven with Him.
My God turned my darkness into His light;
Opened up my blinded eyes; gave me sight.
As for God, his way is perfect.
He gives strength to stand secure.
I have found my vict’ry in Him.
My Lord lives! Praise be to my Savior God,
Jesus Christ, who died on a cruel cross.
He is my Rock and the source
Of my salvation, whom I trust.
I will give praise always to Him.
Saturday, October 20, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, that you reached down from heaven and you rescued me from my slavery to sin. Amen!