Archive for September, 2012

The Way Back (Psalm 51), Part X

Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Psalm 51: 9-10

The fifty-first Psalm is one of my favorite Psalms and one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.  It is the song and prayer of David’s confession after his sins of adultery with Bathsheeba and subsequent murder of her husband, Uriah.  In my opinion, this chapter is the best example in the Bible of a prayer of a true penitent.  If we ever find ourselves having sinned, this is the chapter that shows us “the way back to God.”  We will take a couple of weeks and look at it verse by verse.

In verse 10, David asks the Lord to “create in me a clean heart,” and to “renew a right spirit within me.”  When we sin and stray from our Father, our heart gets dirty.  When we sin and stray, we do so out of a wrong spirit.  Our heart needs cleaned and our spirit needs straightened out.  We need to get both fixed.

If you have ever strayed from the Lord and then came back to Him, you can say from experience just how wonderful it is to have that right spirit once again.  When you read this Psalm, you can almost feel the desperation with which David is praying.  And there are few prayers more desperate than those of one who realizes his need for forgiveness and mercy.  When we find ourselves in that position, having a clean heart and a right spirit become the most important things in the world.

If we don’t have a clean heart and a right spirit, we need to pray this prayer with David.  If we do have a clean heart and a right spirit, we need to be thankful for them and do everything in our power to keep them.  They are precious things indeed.

The Way Back (Psalm 51), Part IX

Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

Psalm 51:9

The fifty-first Psalm is one of my favorite Psalms and one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.  It is the song and prayer of David’s confession after his sins of adultery with Bathsheeba and subsequent murder of her husband, Uriah.  In my opinion, this chapter is the best example in the Bible of a prayer of a true penitent.  If we ever find ourselves having sinned, this is the chapter that shows us “the way back to God.”  We will take a couple of weeks and look at it verse by verse.

In verse nine, David tells the Lord that He wants Him to “hide His face from his sins.”  And he wants Him to “blot out all his iniquities.”  That is what we all want and what we all need when get away from the Lord and start sinning.  God is too holy to even look upon sin.  God cannot and will not bless when we are covered with sin.  We need something to take that sin away.

Fortunately, Jesus has made forgiveness and mercy available through His own perfect sacrifice.  Due to His sacrifice on the cross, we can now come “boldly to the throne of grace.”  We can now know that we can have forgiveness for our sin.  We can claim verses like I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

It is a comforting thing to know that, when we do fail and sin, we can have forgiveness and that we know the One Who can give forgiveness.  He can blot out all of our iniquities and He can hide his face from our sins.  When we are seeking mercy, we can follow this example and prayer of David.

The Way Back (Psalm 51), Part VIII

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

Psalm 51:7-8

The fifty-first Psalm is one of my favorite Psalms and one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.  It is the song and prayer of David’s confession after his sins of adultery with Bathsheeba and subsequent murder of her husband, Uriah.  In my opinion, this chapter is the best example in the Bible of a prayer of a true penitent.  If we ever find ourselves having sinned, this is the chapter that shows us “the way back to God.”  We will take a couple of weeks and look at it verse by verse.

If you have ever been backslidden and have ever strayed from the Lord, you know exactly what David is talking about in verse 8: “Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.”  When, as Christians, we start sinning, we don’t enjoy it.  There is something deep down that is miserable.  There is something inside us that hurts.  We have no gladness and we can feel that our spiritual “bones” have been broken.

When we come back to the Lord for forgiveness and mercy, just as David did, one of the things that we want is to feel that joy and gladness again.  We want to experience the spiritual healing that only the Great Physician can bring.  One of the most wonderful things about the Lord’s forgiveness is that fact that He allows us to once again feel joy and gladness.  That pain and emptiness we felt is replaced with joy.  Whereas our spirit was broken, it is now healed.  We once again have fellowship with the Spirit.  We can once again rejoice!

If we ever find ourselves in sin, we need to immediately run to the Saviour for forgiveness and mercy.  That is the only way to find joy again.

The Way Back (Psalm 51), Part VII

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Psalm 51:7

The fifty-first Psalm is one of my favorite Psalms and one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.  It is the song and prayer of David’s confession after his sins of adultery with Bathsheeba and subsequent murder of her husband, Uriah.  In my opinion, this chapter is the best example in the Bible of a prayer of a true penitent.  If we ever find ourselves having sinned, this is the chapter that shows us “the way back to God.”  We will take a couple of weeks and look at it verse by verse.

In verse seven, David gets to the heart of the matter of forgiveness.  When we talk about forgiveness, what we really need is the Lord’s forgiveness.  We can ask for the forgiveness of others, and often we should.  We can even “forgive ourselves,” but we are usually pretty quick to do that.  When we find ourselves sinning, what we really need is the Lord’s forgiveness.

David said here that he wants the Lord to “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”  When we are stained with sin, only the Lord can cleanse us from it.  He is the only One with the answers.  He is the only One Who can truly forgive and cleanse.

We can try to clean ourselves up all we want.  It’s not going to do any good.  Many people sin and feel bad about it, so they will try to be extra good or extra nice to make up for it.  But that doesn’t wash that stain of sin away.  Only the blood of Jesus can do that.  David says that if the Lord will wash him, he will “be whiter than snow.”  So will we.  True forgiveness comes only from Him.

I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go (Hymn)

I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go
Carrie E. Rounsefell (1949)

It may not be on the mountain’s height, or over the stormy sea;
It may not be at the battle’s front my Lord will have need of me;
But if by a still, small voice He calls to paths I do not know,
I’ll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in Yours,
I’ll go where You want me to go.

Refrain
I’ll go where You want me to go, dear Lord,
O’er mountain, or plain, or sea;
I’ll say what You want me to say, dear Lord,
I’ll be what You want me to be.

Perhaps today there are loving words which Jesus would have me speak;
There may be now, in the paths of sin, some wand’rer whom I should seek.
O Savior, if You will be my Guide, though dark and rugged the way,
My voice shall echo the message sweet,
I’ll say what You want me to say.

Refrain

There’s surely somewhere a lowly place in earth’s harvest fields so wide,
Where I may labor through life’s short day for Jesus, the Crucified.
So, trusting my all unto Your care, I know You always love me!
I’ll do Your will with a heart sincere,
I’ll be what You want me to be.

Refrain

Wouldn’t it be great if we really lived our lives like this?  “I’ll go where you want me to go…  I’ll do what you want me to do.”  What a great attitude for every one of us!

The Way Back (Psalm 51), Part VI

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Psalm 51:6

The fifty-first Psalm is one of my favorite Psalms and one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.  It is the song and prayer of David’s confession after his sins of adultery with Bathsheeba and subsequent murder of her husband, Uriah.  In my opinion, this chapter is the best example in the Bible of a prayer of a true penitent.  If we ever find ourselves having sinned, this is the chapter that shows us “the way back to God.”  We will take a couple of weeks and look at it verse by verse.

In verse six, we find David’s understanding of what the Lord is looking for in us in our confession and repentance.  He tells us that what the Lord wants is “truth in the inward parts…”  That is often a tough one.  One of the keys to obtaining forgiveness and mercy from the Lord is an honest appraisal of ourselves and of our sinfulness.  “Truth in the inward parts” is often a difficult thing.  We have a natural tendency to want to lie to ourselves.  We have a natural tendency to want to tell ourselves that, even in the midst of sin, everything is just fine.  We tell ourselves that over and over, and eventually, we start to believe that lie.

That is how people can backslide.  They sin, and they tell themselves that they are fine.  But that is not what the Lord wants.   He wants truth in the inward parts.  He wants us to be honest with ourselves and honest with Him.  If we will be honest with Him and honest with ourselves, we will get to the second part of the verse: “…thou shalt make me to know wisdom.”  If we will be honest with ourselves, God will give us wisdom.  David understood that, and we need to understand it too.

We can’t get anywhere until we are honest.  And that honesty begins in our own hearts.

The Way Back (Psalm 51), Part V

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.  Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Psalm 51:4-5

The fifty-first Psalm is one of my favorite Psalms and one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.  It is the song and prayer of David’s confession after his sins of adultery with Bathsheeba and subsequent murder of her husband, Uriah.  In my opinion, this chapter is the best example in the Bible of a prayer of a true penitent.  If we ever find ourselves having sinned, this is the chapter that shows us “the way back to God.”  We will take a couple of weeks and look at it verse by verse.

Today, we look at verse five, in which David mentions the root cause of his sinfulness: his sin nature.  He says that “…I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”  His sin did not start with his lust for Bathsheeba.  Nor did it start with his murder of Uriah.  His started in the womb.  He was born with a sin nature, just as we are.

The book of Romans has much to say about our sin nature, which is also often called the “natural man” or “the old man.”

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”  (Romans 6:6)  When we come to Jesus Christ for salvation, He gives us a new nature.  Our old nature is crucified with Him, and we no longer have to serve it.  This old, crucified nature constantly wars with our new, righteous nature.  This conflict is described perfectly in Romans 7.

We sin because we have a sin nature.  To deny that we have that sin nature is a dangerous mistake.  David acknowledged that He had a sin nature – he was not perfect, and neither are we!  We need the Lord’s help every day of our lives.

The Way Back (Psalm 51), Part IV

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.  Against thee, thee only , have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

Psalm 51:2-4

The fifty-first Psalm is one of my favorite Psalms and one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.  It is the song and prayer of David’s confession after his sins of adultery with Bathsheeba and subsequent murder of her husband, Uriah.  In my opinion, this chapter is the best example in the Bible of a prayer of a true penitent.  If we ever find ourselves having sinned, this is the chapter that shows us “the way back to God.”  We will take a couple of weeks and look at it verse by verse.

Verse four gives us an idea of the nature of sin and the correct attitude toward sin.  In this verse, David acknowledges that his sin is against God.  All sin is ultimately against God.  Whether we steal, or cheat, or lie, or just have a bad attitude, our sin is rebellion against God.  We might think that we are sinning against another person, which we may be, but ultimately, we are sinning against God.  David could have looked at his sin as sin against Bathsheeba or Uriah, but he understood that it was really a sin against God.

David also acknowledged that God is the judge.  He had transgressed God’s law and must now face God’s judgement.  “…that thou mightest me justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.”  He had sinned against God and must now stand before God and take whatever judgment He felt right.

When we sin, we need to understand that our sin is a sin against God Himself.  God makes the rules and we are to follow them.  When we break one of His rules, we must face His judgment.  This should drive us to the Lord for mercy, just as David did when he sinned.

The Way Back (Psalm 51), Part III

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

Psalm 51:2-3

The fifty-first Psalm is one of my favorite Psalms and one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.  It is the song and prayer of David’s confession after his sins of adultery with Bathsheeba and subsequent murder of her husband, Uriah.  In my opinion, this chapter is the best example in the Bible of a prayer of a true penitent.  If we ever find ourselves having sinned, this is the chapter that shows us “the way back to God.”  We will take a couple of weeks and look at it verse by verse.

Today, we will look at the third verse.  When confessing sin in our lives and getting right with God, one of the first steps is to admit that we have sinned.  So many people refuse to take that first and very important step.  So many people try to make excuses for their sin or try to shift the blame for their sin to someone else.  But David did neither of these things.  He said “For I acknowledge my transgressions…”  He acknowledged the simple fact that he had sinned. Sadly, that is farther than many people ever get.

He also said in this verse that “…my sin is ever before me.”  He felt a “godly sorrow” for his sin.  (II Corinthians 7:10)  When we sin, our conscience does not let us rest.  We feel bad about our sin (or at least we should feel bad about it).  When we sin, God will show us that sin so that we can deal with it and get right with Him.  Until we come to the Lord for forgiveness, we have that sin “ever before us.”

David acknowledged his the fact that he had sinned and he acknowledged the fact that his sin was ever before him, torturing his spirit.  He had sinned and he wasn’t happy about it.  That is the proper attitude we need to have to approach the Lord for forgiveness and mercy.

The Way Back (Psalm 51), Part II

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.  Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

Psalm 51:1-2

The fifty-first Psalm is one of my favorite Psalms and one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.  It is the song and prayer of David’s confession after his sins of adultery with Bathsheeba and subsequent murder of her husband, Uriah.  In my opinion, this chapter is the best example in the Bible of a prayer of a true penitent.  If we ever find ourselves having sinned, this is the chapter that shows us “the way back to God.”  We will take a couple of weeks and look at it verse by verse.

Today, we look at the second verse and David’s desire to be washed and cleansed from his sins.

When we sin, we need to be washed and cleaned.  Sin is filthy, dirty and defiled.  At salvation, we are cleansed from sin, but as we journey through life, we need to constantly come to the Lord cleansing from our daily sin and defilement.  That is what Jesus was talking about in John 13 when talking to Peter about washing his feet.  Just like Peter, we need the Saviour to clean us up from time to time.

David understood this and prayed accordingly.  He not only wanted to be forgiven, but he wanted to be clean.  Physically speaking, being dirty is not enjoyable.  There is no better feeling when you come in from working in the dirt than taking a good shower and cleaning up.  Sadly, many people live their lives spiritually dirty.  So many people walk through life with “filthy feet.”  There is no better feeling spiritually than coming to the Lord and getting washed from our sins.  David wanted to be washed “throughly” and we should want that too.

How clean are we today?