Last week we read about repentance, and how Jesus and the Apostles spoke about it as a vital element of the Good News.
This week, as we reflect on Psalm 51, we consider what repentance meant for David. His affair with Bathsheba, resulting in lies, murder and the death of the child that was born as a result was a dark incident in David’s life. Psalm 51 reads as a very personal act of repentance on David’s part. Read it thoughtfully and consider how you might use the psalm in your own personal prayers.
The on-line reading each day is Psalm 51 from different translations.
Have mercy on me, O God,
because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
2 Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
3 For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
What David did was not simply a ‘foolish mistake’ or an ‘unfortunate moment’, it was an act of rebellion – and David recognised the seriousness of that. So no excuses from David, no playing it down and claiming it was Bathsheba’s fault for tempting him (she made me do it – that is the ‘man’ version of the incident.). He is very aware that his only hope lies in mercy from a forgiving God. Sin had made him dirty and he needed to be cleaned up. This was a nasty blot on his life and a stain on his conscience. That is always the effect of sin and no amount of remorse or attempted forgetfulness will ever deal with it. Just look at the extravagant collection of words David has to draw out in the circumstances: Blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. It haunts me day and night.
Does past failure or sin still haunt you in any shape or form? Be assured that there is forgiveness and cleansing, even cleaning up of the conscience, because that is what Jesus died for! Salvation extends to complete renewal and a fresh start for the conscience. What a wonderful thing Jesus did for you at Calvary.