May 6, 2015.
Daily Reading: Psalm 51-53.
Background: Psalm 48-50.
Concepts and Connections.
“Create in me a clean heart”: Psalm 51 is perhaps one of the most well known psalms of David. It was written by the man after God’s own heart after he had been confronted by Nathan the prophet for committing adultery with Bathsheba and sending her husband to his death in war (see II Samuel 11-12). Instead of responding to Nathan in a defensive way, David shows his true character by humbling himself before God and writing this psalm of repentance, filled with emotion. David has finally recognized what he has done and his heart is broken within him, a broken and contrite heart. But he knows that the Lord is merciful, and is steadfast in love. He cries out to the Lord that he might be cleansed, purged, sanctified once again in the presence of the Lord. Notice that David says “against You, and You only have I sinned.” It is evident that David had sinned against other people in this story, including Uriah, Bathsheba and Joab (giving him a stumbling block). However, David recognized that the ultimate judge is God, and when we sin, we are ultimately sinning against the Almighty, for it is His law that we have broken. To make things right, he must ultimately repent before God. And that he does though this heart wrenching psalm. Notice that he says that the Lord does not delight in sacrifices when they are offered by one who is not in the right relationship with God, for the heart is what is important. After the heart problems are solved, then sacrifices can be made and accepted. Repentance does not end with reconciliation, however, as David tells of what he will do once he indeed has a clean heart- teach the transgressors His ways, causing those who are astray to turn to the Lord. After he had gotten back into the right relationship, he was on a mission to help others do the same. There are many lessons that we can take from this psalm. Let us ever strive to have a heart like David’s that is displayed here.
Who do you trust in? This psalm is another psalm written by David, this time when he was fleeing from King Saul and Doeg the Edomite told Saul where David was so that he could pursue him (see I Samuel 21-22). David seems to rebuke Doeg outright in the first stanza, asking why he boasts in evil as opposed to trusting in the Lord, who indeed shows His steadfast love to His children. David then warns Doeg of the coming judgment from the Lord for his transgressions and love of evil. The Lord would be with the righteous, but his hand would be against those who oppose His will. And the Lord was with David. He knew that He would be delivered from the hand of Saul, though Doeg tried to give him away. There was nothing that Doeg could do to go against the hand of God, and thus David was not afraid. Who do we trust in?
Man’s folly and God’s deliverance: This is one of two psalms that opens with “the fool has said in his heart ‘there is no God.'” (see also Psalm 14) Much of the opening of this psalm is cited/echoed by Paul in Romans 3, discussing the ultimate corruption of mankind and the sin that besets us all. Since the fall, there has been no man, save Jesus Christ who was the Messiah, to have lived a sinless life before the Father. Not even one. However, this psalm calls for salvation from Zion, the city of God, which would certainly come through the Christ. Since there was not one who has done good amongst the sons of men, the Son of God was sent to the earth to sacrifice Himself to atone for our sins. This is the deliverance from Zion. This is the good news. This is the plan of God. Hallelujah to the King.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Job 38-39.
All praise to the King.