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Psalm 51

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Psalm 51 was written by David after he had been confronted by the prophet Nathan about committing adultery with Bethsheba.  In addition to this sexual sin, David caused the death of Uriah, Bethsheba's husband.  Consider David's attitude toward God as he deals with the guilt of his sin.

"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love;  according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.  Wash away all my iniquityand cleanse me from my sin.  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.  Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.  Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.  Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.  Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.  Open my lips, Lord,and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar."

David does not seek to defend his actions for they are indefensible (as are our sins).  Rather, he seeks mercy from a loving God.  David admits his guilt and seeks the cleansing that only God can impart.  David understands that his sin is a sin against God and that God's judgment is right and just.  David cries out not only for cleansing, but for renewal of the mind and spirit.  This is the same renewal spoken of by Paul in Romans 12, "... be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." 

Like David, we are to admit our guilt before God.  We are to cry out to God for mercy from a just and loving God.  We are to seek the cleansing and renewal that ONLY God can do.  Then, we can serve as a witness to others about God with a contrite heart.

Posted by Bruce Powers with

Psalm 42-43

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Psalm 42

Psalm 42 is the basis for another popular worship song, "As the Deer."  Such a vivid word picture; an excellent illustration of David's desire to be closer to God.  Our desire to be in the presence of God should be like our desire for cool water when thirsty.  Later in the passage, David repeats the question: "Why, my soul, are you downcast?"  Let us remember this question as we read the passage...

"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?  My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?"  These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.  My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.  Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.  By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.  I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me?  Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?”  Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God."

Can you recall a time when your soul was downcast?  A time when things are not going well and you can not seem to beat the blues.  The solution David offers is to praise God, to place our trust in God.  This theme is continued in Psalm 43:


Psalm 43

Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation.  Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked. You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me?  Why must I go about mourning,oppressed by the enemy?  Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight.  I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.  Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,my Savior and my God.

In times of trial, in times of sadness, and in times of persecution we must turn to God and put our faith in Him.  God can quench the longings of our soul in ways that we cannot imagine.  Turn to God and praise His name.  Offer your hurts to Him for He is faithful and loving.  He will use those hurts to make you mature and complete, not lacking in anything.  God alone can provide a peace that surpasses human understanding. 

Posted by Bruce Powers with

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