Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Psalm 51

"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin...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...The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." Psalm 51

This was written by a guy named David shortly after he was confronted by a friend for committing adultery with another man's wife, a man he later murdered to cover up the mess he got himself into. David's name means "a man after God's own heart." A man after God's own heart?? How did he earn THAT name??? He didn't earn it and it wasn't by mistake that he got the name. God had chosen to use David to do mighty things, and he DID, even amidst his failings. He was a king, a father, an heir to Jesus. One of the things that set David apart from other men of his time that participated in the same sins was his repentant and teachable heart. He WAS a man after God's heart and he sought hard after God. He sought forgiveness.

My old college roommate (graphic art minor) painted this picture to portray the meaning of this chapter and the healing that takes place when, after messing up, we PRAY to be made new, steadfast, washed, cleansed from our sin. More than anything else the God who created us longs to have a right relationship with us, to extend his grace, mercy and forgiveness.

Going through life by far it has been the times when I've messed up, been broken and embarrassed by the sin in my life that God has been most glorified. It's been in those times and moments when He used my human-ness to be an encouragement to someone else or a testimony of His provision and healing. What a beautiful portrayal of this passage. A man being made new with a steadfast spirit, given a new heart that is even bigger than before not inspite of having sin but through the healing and forgiveness from sin that comes when we ask. God doesn't need "perfect" people to do good works for him. He IS perfect and has that piece under control. He needs people who are broken, made humble and teachable. As a dear friend said recently to me, "I don't need a God who will protect me, love me, do good things for me (although those are nice and God DOES do those things). I need a SAVIOR. Someone who loves me enough to save me from the sin in my life." It is by GRACE we have been saved, not by works lest any man boast. Where would we be without grace? Praise you Lord for your abundant GRACE!

1 comment:

Kari Smith said...

Thanks for thoughts on this. It amazes me too that God still called David a man after His own heart when David screwed up so royally! I think this painting is a good reminder to me that it is through my sin and the repentance and healing that comes after it that God uses to grow me. To give me a heart that is bigger and more able to love Him. That God, in His infinite Holiness and Majesty, chooses to allow me to be made clean. Me, a person who is retched and ugly to the core, being washed clean and made to be seemingly without sin.

Lord, you are amazing. Why do you love us so? Why do you continually call to us and beckon us and wipe us clean? May I live my life as someone who is worthy of this great sacrifice that you made!