Forgiveness and Restoration
My Lord and God, thank You for the sure hope I have in Christ Jesus and all that means to me.
Read PSALM 51:1-19
 For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.  Wash away all my iniquity and 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 that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.  Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.  Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost 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, and sinners will turn back to you.  Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.  O Lord, open my lips, 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.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.  In your good pleasure make Zion prosper; build up the walls of Jerusalem.  Then there will be righteous sacrifices, whole burnt offerings to delight you; then bulls will be offered on your altar. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWho does David say his sin most grievously offended?
Psalm 51 was written after the Lord confronted David through Nathan and illustrates repentance for us. David opens with a cry for mercy (1). He takes responsibility for his attitudes and actions–no more hiding, no excuses (3-6). He offers no grandiose attempts to be a better man (16). David is aware that his moral failures began, not on a rooftop, but within his heart. He begs God to give him a pure and faithful heart (10,17). And he asks for restoration (12,14,15).
We’ve seen David in success and in failure. What do we learn from this? We can learn that when life is going well, we must choose to depend on God as much as we did in our wilderness experiences. We can learn that despite our plans, God has a vision and promises for our lives. The man after God’s own heart teaches us about our capacity to deceive ourselves. But David also shows us that God confronts, forgives and restores. Finally, David’s story reminds us that in success and in failure, in every season of life, we’re loved and welcome at the table of the King. We’re invited into relationship with the living God.
Reflect on what you have learned from studying this sad episode in David’s life. How can it help you in yours?
Gracious Lord, I thank You for Your wonderful patience with me. Keep working to make me more like Jesus.
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