Psalm 51:10,16-17 (KJB), “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me…You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.”
David knew his heart wasn’t clean. He had just committed adultery with Bathsheba. When kings were going out to war, David stayed behind, just sending his men to fight. One night he sees a beautiful married woman bathing on her roof. After sending for her and conceiving a child, he tried to cover his track by calling her husband home to sleep with his own wife. Uriah, however, is more honorable than his king and refuses to sleep in comfort with his wife while his own men were still on the battlefield. David then digs himself in deeper and causes the unsuspecting husband to be placed in a dangerous place in battle and is in fact responsible for his death. Still, unrepentant, he marries the woman.
None of this was hidden from God who sends his prophet, Nathan, to prove it. I know, we all see David as such a wonderful person. God even said that David was a man after His own heart. So we hate to look at this part of his life. I say you can’t separate one from the other. God didn’t say that before the sin. In God’s eyes the sin was always there. David didn’t pull a fast one on God. He knew what was going to happen from way before time even was created. It is David’s reaction to the correction of God that makes him so special. Was he perfect? My lands, no! But that isn’t the question we need to ask. The right question is “did he repent.”
Let’s look at a few places in Psalms that show a repentant heart.
Psalms 32:1-2 (NIV), “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.”
3-7 (AMP), “When I kept silence [before I confessed], my bones wasted away through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand [of displeasure] was heavy upon me; my moisture was turned into the drought of summer. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord [continually unfolding the past till all is told]—then You [instantly] forgave me the guilt and iniquity of my sin. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! For this [forgiveness] let everyone who is godly pray—pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely when the great waters [of trial] overflow, they shall not reach [the spirit in] him. You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord, preserve me from trouble, You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!”
David is clear. When he tried to stay silent, keep his sin to himself, it was rough going. Consequently, when he acknowledged his sin, he tells us God forgave him instantly. He then goes on to tell everyone who is Godly to pray the same way, asking for forgiveness. We don’t have to get saved again. We don’t have to start all over again in our walk with God. We repent, turn from our wicked ways, and go on.
I want to point out that our confession of sin isn’t a way to get out of the consequences of sin. For example if you have stolen from your neighbor and spent the money, even though you confess, you may go to jail. David confessed, but one of the consequences of his sin is that the child conceived in adultery didn’t live. Now, God could have made Bathsheba barren, or taken the throne away from David, or any other thing that He saw fit. But, God, in is love and in accordance to the promises He already made to David, brings forth Solomon out of the union of David and Bathsheba, and God says He “loved Solomon very much.”
We have all messed up, in small ways and in huge ways. Don’t fret! Don’t try to hide it. If you try to cover your sin, you only get tangled up in the lies even more. Sir Walter Scott (Marmion, 1808), said, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive.” Just look at David, he tried everything to hide his sin and it just kept getting uglier. We live under a different covenant than David. Now we have the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin. If we have to wait for someone to come and tell us what we are doing is sin, which means we have ignored the Spirit until we quit hearing Him. Because God loves us, He won’t allow us to stay in sin. He’ll make sure we know what He thinks one way or another. Don’t ignore that tug when you are considering giving in to temptation to begin with! That will prevent a lot of grief. Nevertheless, if you do cave, be quick to repent. He is quick to forgive.
Psalm 86:5 (NIV), “You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all to call you.”
Let’s finish out Psalms 32.
Psalms 32:8-11 (AMP), “I [the Lord] will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Be not like the horse or the mule, which lack understanding, which must have their mouths held firm with bit and bridle, or else they will not come with you. Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but he who trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on the Lord shall be compassed about with mercy and with loving-kindness. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you [uncompromisingly] righteous [you who are upright and in right standing with Him]; shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”
Besides our forgiveness, what other good things come out of our confession of wrong doing? God will instruct us and teach us the right way and we will be surrounded with His mercy and love.
Is your heart clean? Is it broken and contrite?
If not, trust Him. Come clean! He is so ready to forgive and then He even forgets. Won’t you let Him?