TODAY’S READING: PSALM 51:1-3
“Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.” Ps 51:1-2
How many times have we fallen short by making bad choices? For some, it might be a lie; for others jealousy, anger or lust. In King David’s case it was all of the above and more! As a result of his adultery with Bathsheba and his actions to cover the crime by the murder of her husband, David hurt many people and none more so than his Father in heaven. David was known as a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14) so it must have grieved God bitterly to see how far David had fallen. No act of sin goes without consequences and, as such, David became disconnected and distanced from God.
Psalm 51 expresses one of the clearest examples of repentance in all scripture and has been described by Spurgeon as, “The Sinner Guide”. It shows David’s plea for God’s mercy and forgiveness and has been the starting point for countless sinners to seek forgiveness and restore their relationship with God.
Just like David, we need to recognise when we have sinned. In Psalm 51:3 (NLT) David writes, “For I recognise my rebellion; it haunts me day and night”. Sin in our lives is anything that is not pleasing to God. Very often our actions and behaviour are acceptable in the eyes of the world but the Kingdom view is very different! God is perfect and, as such, cannot condone any sin as Psalm 5:4(ESV) states, “For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you.”
Once we have recognised that we have sinned, repentance from our sins brings forgiveness that can only come from the mercy and grace of God. David petitioned God. Psalm 51:1(NLT) says, “Have mercy on me, oh God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion blot out the stain of my sin.” David did not make excuses for his sin. He realised that sin had defiled him, staining his body and soul but he repented and through the mercy and grace of God, David was restored.
Once David had received forgiveness, his relationship with the Father was restored; the slate was wiped clean. David was completely cleansed with no trace left behind. “Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.” Psalm 51:2 (NLT). While God forgives, He does not always erase the consequences of sin. In David’s case, his life and family were never the same again (2 Samuel 12:1-23) but through forgiveness, David’s relationship with the Father was restored, just as it will be restored for us.
Today, make the decision to restore your relationship with God our Father. Remember, no matter what we have done, no sin is too big for God to forgive because of His unending compassion, mercy and love for us!
• Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to identify areas in our lives that are unpleasing to God. These might even be dormant in our conscience. Whatever it is, release it to God today!
• Earnestly seek forgiveness from our Father in heaven and from those we have offended.
• Pray that, through repentance, our relationships will be restored in full.
• Seek a different path. As a new creation in Christ, we can choose not to repeat our mistakes. “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.” 1 John 3:9 (ESV)