Sin’s Pleas

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 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you… My tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. My mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give itThe sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Psalm 51:1-4,6-17

David’s relaxation led to lust led to adultery led to deceit led to murder led to grief led to more death, and he was miserable. God doesn’t let His chosen ones, those He is fashioning after His own heart, sit well with sin. Guilt is a kindness leading to repentance, and merciful God was kind to David. (1 Samuel 13:14; 2 Samuel 11:1-12:23; Psalm 32:3-4,10; Acts 13:22; Romans 2:4)

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The sin he committed in “secret” was not hidden from all-seeing, omniscient God, and although it was immediately, upon confession, forgiven, it would identify King David all his days through the description in the genealogy of Jesus of the mother of his royal son Solomon. But the heart set free is free indeed, and the fear David felt in guilt, that God’s Spirit would be removed from him, is no longer ours in forgiveness this side of the cross. When once we are sealed in and by His Spirit, we are secure forever. (2 Samuel 12:13; Matthew 1:6; Ephesians 4:30)

I have found myself stuck in a sin quagmire of mind and tongue, and while I feel the Spirit’s conviction, have been weak as a noodle in self-control. What beauty, what washing, what refreshing there is, when we read accounts of fellow sojourners of faith who have similarly struggled, and allow His word to do its precise, penetrating work in our souls. Our Jesus sees, knows, understands– He suffered all the same temptations, yet was without sin on our behalf. He became our perfect sacrifice, He frees us from sin’s penalty, He pronounces us, as Nathan did David, “forgiven.” Hallelujah! (Hebrews 4:12-16)

God of grace, You search me and Your word tries me, You convict of sin by misery in the inward parts. Thank You. Wash me, restore me. I will teach, I will praise. (Psalm 139:23-24; John 16:8)

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