Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 51: 10-12

At the heart of our understanding of God has been his rightful place as creator, lawgiver and one who calls his creation into obedience.

The common denominator through each of these understandings has been God’s faithfulness to the promises he has made to his people, but equally the disobedience and unfaithfulness of his people. Yesterday (Understanding God – Sin) we read about David’s affair with Bathsheba which epitomised the sin in each of our lives. Our desires taking priority over God’s will.

Churches Protest at Stormont Seotmeber 2019

We touched on how Nathan the prophet confronted David with his sinfulness in 2 Samuel 12 (read here). We should be careful not to be judgemental when we read stories such as David’s. Scripture makes clear that none of us our righteous. Paul wrote in Romans 3:10-12, ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.’ The psalmist wrote in 14:3 ‘They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.’ And then again in Psalm 53: 1-3 ‘They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.’ (read more here)

The call of scripture is not to sit in judgement on one another but to change how we live, to recognise that we are just as guilty as the next person. Psalm 51 is David’s response to his own sin. It is a cry of repentance, an acknowledgement that his sin was primarily against God. It is a plea for God to cleanse and a promise that as he moves forward his life will be one of worship and obedience.

What has our response to our sin been? Have we had the honesty to come before God and admit that we have wronged him? Have we asked for God’s forgiveness and his cleansing? Have we recognised that life can’t go on as it has been and that we will have to make changes?

The reality is that it is only through repentance, this coming to God in honesty that we can find the forgiveness and release we so desperately need. In Psalm 32 David speaks about how his bones wasted away when he kept silent about his sin. The blessedness of the psalm is found in acknowledging sin to God.

To understand God is to understand that we can only have the weight of sin lifted from us when in honesty and repentance we bring that sin before God because only he can give the forgiveness we desire because it is against him we have sinned.

Prayer Father, it is against you and you only have I sinned. The more I try to hide that sin from you the more I feel my bones wasting away, the more I groan all day long. Today I confess that sin to you. I confess that I have been ­­­­________. I commit to stop hiding my sin from you, but as you cleanse me, so I also commit to make changes in my life, to be obedient to you. Father in your forgiveness, grant me the steadfast spirit that enables me to be faithful. In Jesus name, the atonement for my sin, I pray. Amen