Abundant Mercies

Have mercy on me,O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:1-4,6-7

I cannot read Psalm 51 or 2 Samuel 11-12 without bowing in overwhelming awe at the mercy and lovingkindness of my Savior. David had committed adultery and murder, and he tried to cover them up, but God knows all, and in His grace toward the leader of Israel would not let him go on in his sin and accompanying misery. David described his distress and God’s mercy in Psalm 32: “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.” Ah, the amazing, abundant mercy of God! His Spirit operates so we might know, with David, Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.”

God is concerned with our hearts. He is relentless in His pursuit of us when we sin. His truth exposes it, His agents identify it, His Spirit convicts of it; He breaks our hearts to bring contrition and repentance. His mercy makes the way for us to live with a clean conscience and right spirit, to enjoy our salvation, to fulfill our calling and declare His praise.  How deliberate am I to bare the deepest part of me to His searchlight? To take time on my knees before my holy God in earnest confession? (Ezekiel 18:30-32; Psalm 139:23-24)

“Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight?’… David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.'” (2 Samuel 12:7,9,13) “You are forgiven!” Three words, a declaration of immeasurable, magnificent freedom won by our Savior on the cross when He declared, in victorious agony, “It is finished!” However dark our thoughts, evil our actions, harsh our attitudes, biting our words, and vicious our rebellion, in love God draws us to Himself, lavishes His mercy on our genuine confession, and washes us clean.

“Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.”                                                                                               ~Robert Robertson (1758)

Father, Your steadfast love never ceases, and Your mercies never come to an end; indeed, they are new every morning. Reign in me! May Your truth convict, call me to account, and disclose the secrets of my heart that I fall on my face and worship you. (Lamentations 3:22-23; 1 Corinthians 14:24-25)

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