Thursday, April 25, 2013

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

"Create in me a clean heart, O God" (Ps. 51:10) David wrote those words after being shown his sin by Nathan the prophet. After he was convicted he had stolen one man's little ewe lamb, his most precious possession, and to make sure Uriah was to be assassinated.

How could David have committed such a heinous act? David, the man after God's own heart? Commit an act of treachery and murder in cold blood because of his own lust and greed? God had already given him many beautiful wives. But that was not enough for David. In an act of his own laziness, he stayed home one day and didn't go to the battle with his men. That made him available to behold the beautiful woman bathing on her rooftop. When he saw Bathsheba, he did not care that she belonged to another man, a man with more integrity than he. David in his lust demanded her, and you know the rest of the story.

Uriah died because he was an honorable man and would not violate his principles. He would not sleep with his wife while the battle raged, even though David wanted him to in order to cover up the pregnancy he, himself, had induced.

We look at David and shake our heads. "Oh David, how could you?" Nathan told David, "You are the man" when he told the story of how the man was robbed of his one precious ewe lamb in II Samuel 12: 7.

But don't you see how David represents all of us? WE ARE THAT MAN! Maybe we never murdered anyone and stole their wife or husband. But Jesus said if you are angry without cause at your brother you are in danger of judgment in Matthew 5:22. Or if you call your brother a fool you are in danger of hell fire in the same verse!

That tends to knock the self righteousness out of me. For I know I have gotten angry with other drivers on the highway more than just a couple of times. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. If Jesus Christ judged us by the Law of Moses, I would be sunk, down to the deepest pit, with no hope of rescue. I think the story of David and his sin with Bathsheba was included here NOT just for the sake of history. For those who do not receive God's free gift of righteousness through Christ's atoning work on Calvary, they WILL be judged according to their works, and NO ONE will be good enough on their own. (Read the sobering verses in Revelation 20: 11-15.)

1 Corinthians 10:11 states: "Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come."

Do you see maybe a higher purpose here? How quickly we can point our fingers at others. Funny, the ones I point fingers at, are pointing back at me. How much we despise seeing in others our own wicked failures.

I am so relieved the story does not end with the condemnation of the Law. If it did, there would be no hope for any of us. I have been taught the truths in the book of Romans are foundational. You can't really make progress in your spiritual life without mastering them. I do not claim to have mastered them. I have listened to them on MP3 over and over, especially the beginning chapters. In chapters 1 and 2 Paul lays a case for why we are all condemned and in chapter 3 states that all men have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. (Romans 3: 23)

But I cannot help but rejoice when I get to chapter 4, when Paul talks about having to work to try to "earn" your salvation. It is the total opposite of that in Romans 4:4:

"Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt."

You see, that man thinks he has achieved his salvation by being better, in our example above, than David. He has never gone out and committed murder by stealing another man's wife, impregnating her, and killing off her husband.

"I am certainly more righteous than David, " that person might think in his heart.

But whoa, or woe, actually might be the better term. Read Matthew 5: 27-8.

"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' "But I {Jesus} say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has ALREADY committed adultery with her in his heart."

This is where the grace of Christ Jesus comes in. We ALL need it. For no one can live up to the Law of Moses. Try it sometime, and see how far it gets you. It is far better to confess your sin on a moment by moment basis, and as David, the lover of God did, ask for the creation of a clean heart.

Paul goes on in Romans 4: 5-8:

his faith is accounted for righteousness,
JUST AS DAVID ALSO describes the blessedness of the man to
whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:
"Blessed are those whose
lawless deeds are forgiven,
And whose sins are covered;
Blessed is the man to whom the
LORD shall not impute sin."

That is why I say David had more understanding than we do! Yes, David the sinner! Before I look at anyone else, I need to examine myself, and see whether or not I am in the faith. (II Cor. 13: 5)

"Create a clean heart in me, O God."


  1. You are so right Megan,

    I am guilty of the same.

    Oh, for the grace of God.

    Bless you, Hester ;)

  2. Hester,
    Thank God that the Bible did not stop at the Old Testament but went on to fulfill all its promises of the coming Messiah. It is grace from beginning to end!