I was reading through Psalm 51 this morning and I was struck by the absolute filth and wickedness that lies behind it. This is the song that David writes after Nathan confronts him about his affair with Bathsheba and the state-sanctioned murder of Uriah, her husband. It just doesn’t get much worse than what David did to that family.
I feel weird when I read
Create in me a pure heart, O God,and renew a steadfast spirit within me.Do not cast me from your presenceor take your Holy Spirit from me.Restore to me the joy of your salvationand grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
I just am, like, dude, you stole this guy’s wife and then you had him killed. And this guy trusted you. He paid you honor and you’re over here using your power as king to take his wife as your own. God didn’t take his Holy Spirit from you, you kicked the Holy Spirit out!
Bathsheba must have despised him. He destroyed her family. He killed her first love. She must have hated him. But what could she do? He was the king. What a mess!
On the other hand, these are words of desperation. It seems arrogant of David to ask God to save him from this horrendous sin, and yet I would do the same. I, too, would be on my face. At least David knew that what he had done was evil, and he was owning up to it.
There is so much evil and corruption today for which there is no repentance. And it’s not just out there in corporate America or government, it’s here in my heart. We would all do well to say
Have mercy on me, O God,according to your unfailing love;according to your great compassionblot out my transgressions.Wash away all my iniquityand cleanse me from my sin.…You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;a broken and contrite heart,O God, you will not despise.