October 6, 2010

A Truly Repentant Heart

I've posted this Psalm before and it is being posted again. First, I love it because it is the perfect prayer for a repentant heart. It is the aftermath of Nathan having confronted David about his sin with Bathsheba. David having felt the true weight of his sin is convicted of it and loathes himself and sees the depth of his depravity. The psalmist prays for mercy, humbly confessing and lamenting his sins in Chapters 1 through 6. He pleads for pardon, that he may promote the glory of God and the conversion of sinners in Chapters 7 through 15. God is pleased with a contrite heart, A prayer for the prosperity of Zion in Chapters 16 through 19. What should be noted closely is not only the introductory repentance but also the follow-ups to the prayer. Not only does David seek God's pardon he looks forward to the benefit of Gods people and their ultimate prosperity. David goes from having focused on himself and doing what made him selfishly happy but then turns 180 degrees and seeks to openly do God's will. Strangely, as I read this my mind begins to wander backwards to 2 Samuel and the Lord telling David in 7:12 & 13..."When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever". My mind then jumps forward in time to Isaiah and "A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit." in Isaiah 11:1. Inevitably my thoughts begin to settle on things like the birth narrative in the beginning of Luke, the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, and thinking about Jesus in His ministry in Israel and the fact that He was crucified according to Scripture, was buried and rose again on the third day as stated in prophetic Scripture. I realize that David is essentailly apologizing to the Lord for putting Him in a situation where He will need to come incarnate to justify mankind and David is mortified by it. His conviction from sin breaks him apart like hammer blows until any linkage to that sin is riven to dust. He then asks the Lord to create in him a new heart that will be the basis for a renewed relationship with the Lord.

Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy 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, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.

Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.

For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem; then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

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