Worship and Wisdom, Psalms and Proverbs

A David Psalm, After He Was Confronted by Nathan About the Affair with Bathsheba

Psalm 51

1-3 Generous in love—God, give grace!
    Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
    soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I’ve been;
    my sins are staring me down.

4-6 You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen
    it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;
    whatever you decide about me is fair.
I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,
    in the wrong since before I was born.
What you’re after is truth from the inside out.
    Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.

7-15 Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,
    scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
    set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don’t look too close for blemishes,
    give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
    shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash,
    or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
    put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
    so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
    and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
    I’ll let loose with your praise.

16-17 Going through the motions doesn’t please you,
    a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
    when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
    don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.

18-19 Make Zion the place you delight in,
    repair Jerusalem’s broken-down walls.
Then you’ll get real worship from us,
    acts of worship small and large,
Including all the bulls
    they can heave onto your altar!

TRUTH:  God notices and listens to a broken, shattered heart ready to listen to Him again.  God hears the praise of honest, pure hearts that worship ONLY Him.  God forgives because of His infinite mercy and grace wrapped in His unconditional love for us.  But we must come humbly to Him, confess our sins, and ask for forgiveness and a fresh start…a “Genesis week” of the chaos we make of our lives.  A new beginning, a fresh start is what David is pleading for and receives for He knows the heart of God.  He is the “man after God’s own heart”, the “apple of his eye”. 

A relationship like David’s with our Creator is what we all desire when we really think about what we want from life here on earth.  We want someone to love us deeply and unconditionally.  God created that longing in us from the beginning but we have to come to Him wanting this relationship.  God does not force Himself on us.  God wants the decision to love Him back to be ours. 

We are not puppets in the diabolic scheme…that is Satan’s way that leads to the destruction of our minds, broken hearts and destroyed souls.  But if we believe in Jesus, the One and Only Son of God, with all our hearts, minds and souls, we are protected from evil’s plots.  God so loved, He had a Plan from the Genesis of time itself to save us.  He knew we would need a Savior after trying to do life by ourselves.  He sent Jesus.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16, NIV

Nathan, his wise confident and advisor over the years, had to call David’s attention to his sin.  He told a story so David could picture his own sins with indignation.  With clarity and seeing his sin through God’s eyes, he now saw himself for who he really was…a sinner, unclean.  He saw the sin he was committing against his family and the family of Bathsheba because of his lust and selfish desires.  He saw in the broken lives of those affected by his adultery.  Nathan convicted David of his sins. 

David, broken and undone, humbly came back to the God he loved and had three requests:

CLEANSE ME.  David admitted that ultimate his sins where against God.  It was only God who could cleanse him from his sins.  He wanted to turn from the sin and come back to God whole again.  David was broken before God.  He needed a complete cleansing from God.

RESTORE ME.  David’s sins had affected his whole person: his eyes (v. 3), mind (v. 6), ears and bones (v. 8), heart and spirit (v. 10), hands (v. 14), and lips (vv. 13-15). Such is the high cost of committing sin. David knew this, so he asked for more than cleansing, as important as that is; he wanted his entire being to be restored so he could serve the Lord acceptably.  He wanted the joy of the Lord within him and the face of the Lord smiling upon him once more. David knew that the inner person–the heart–was the source of his trouble as well as the seat of his joy and blessing, and he was incapable of changing his own heart. Only God could work the miracle of transforming his heart.

The Lord gave the Holy Spirit to David when Samuel anointed him (1 Sam. 16:13), and David didn’t want to lose the blessing and help of the Spirit, as had happened to Saul when he sinned (1 Sam. 16:114; see 2 Sam. 7:15).

Today the Holy Spirit abides with believers forever (John 14:15-18); but God’s children can lose His effective ministry by grieving the Spirit (Eph. 4:30-32), lying to Him (Acts 5:1-3), and quenching Him by deliberate disobedience (1 Thess. 5:19). The phrase “willing spirit” in verse 12 (nasb) refers to David’s own spirit, as in verse 10. A “willing spirit” is one that is not in bondage but is free and yielded to the Spirit of God, who ministers to and through our own spirit (Rom. 8:14-17).

It isn’t enough simply to confess sin and experience God’s cleansing; we must also let Him RENEW us within so that we will conquer sin and not succumb to temptation. The Lord did forgive David but permitted him to suffer the tragic consequences of his sins.

Today, instead of sacrifice of lambs and bulls, God sent Jesus, to be sacrificed once and for all, for our sins.  Jesus, the One and Only, stands ready to forgive us of all our sins.  All sin confessed to God, in Jesus Name, is gone, washed away, nothing left behind, to be remembered no more.  Like Nathan did for David, we possess the Holy Spirit who convicts us of our sins that need confessing.  The work of the Holy Spirit for believers is to help us keep our mind’s eyes on God, our souls clean, our Spirits renewed and our hearts restored.

USE ME.  David was God’s servant, and he wanted to regain his ministry and lead his people. He especially wanted to make careful preparations for the building of the temple. It’s interesting that Solomon, the child eventually born to Bathsheba, was chosen to be David’s successor and the one to supervise the temple construction. “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Rom. 5:20 nkjv). David wanted to witness to the lost and wandering and bring them back to the Lord (v. 13), and he wanted to sing the Lord’s praises (vv. 14-15). “Bloodguiltiness” refers to Uriah’s blood on David’s hands, for it was David who ordered his death (2 Sam. 11:6).  David was wealthy enough to bring many sacrifices to the Lord, but he knew that this would not please the Lord (50:8-15; see 1 Sam. 15:22) and that their blood could not wash away his sins. David wasn’t denying the importance or the validity of the Jewish sacrificial system; he was affirming the importance of a repentant heart and a spirit yielded to the Lord (Isa. 57:15). God could not receive broken animals as sacrifices (Mal. 1:6-8), but He would receive a broken heart! 

David destroyed much good when he sinned, but he also did much good during his lifetime and served the Lord faithfully.

“I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered.  Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.”

When we sin, we sin against God ultimately.  God is One, because of Jesus, who will forgive us completely.  God will also help us clean up the mess we left behind because of our sins.  Sin affects not only us but everyone around us.  God knows that and will help us learn the lessons from it so we can “go and sin no more” like Jesus said to the woman ready to be stoned for her sin.  See John 8 for a beautiful story of forgiveness by our Lord.

Proverb 18:17-24, The Message

The first speech in a court case is always convincing—
    until the cross-examination starts!

18 You may have to draw straws
    when faced with a tough decision.

19 Do a favor and win a friend forever;
    nothing can untie that bond.

20 Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach;
    good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest.

21 Words kill, words give life;
    they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

22 Find a good spouse, you find a good life—
    and even more: the favor of God!

23 The poor speak in soft supplications;
    the rich bark out answers.

24 Friends come and friends go,
    but a true friend sticks by you like family.

WISDOM: “Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.”  Nathan was a true friend to David!

Abba Father,

Thank you for your story of the convicting, confessing, forgiveness and complete cleansing of David.  Your relationship with David was renewed and the joy of your salvation was restored in him.  Jesus is the joy of your salvation living in us today.  Your Holy Spirit, like Nathan, convicts us to stay on your path of what is right.  Thank you, dear Jesus, for dying for my sins.  Thank you, Father, for Your Holy Spirit who comforts, convicts, challenges, teaches, and keeps our focus on You.

In Jesus Name, Amen

And we’re singing…

Create in me a clean heart, O God
And renew a right spirit within me
Create in me a clean heart, O God
And renew a right spirit within me
Cast me not away from Thy presence, O Lord
And take not Thy Holy Spirit from me
Restore unto me, the joy of Thy salvation
And renew a right spirit within me….

By Keith Green

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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