2010-03-04 - Always Before Me
Psa 51:3 For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. (NASB)
This is not at all what I had planed to write about this evening, but when I started to write there was a mental block like granite that I could not get around. I kept flipping through my notes and kept coming back to this verse repeatedly.
King David has been confronted by Nathan the Prophet over his sin with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband. The child that Bathsheba conceived had also died. David was left broken over his sin. As he writes this prayer pleading for God's forgiveness a few lines stand out to me - this one most of all.
Most of us are not going to commit adultery and murder. God does remind us that if we look at someone with lust in our heart we have already committed adultery with them in our hearts (Matt 5:28), and (v22-23) if we are angry with our brother the offense is compared with murder. It is because of passages like this one that I am convinced most of us probably sin before our feet hit the floor in the morning - if we are honest with ourselves.
David says he knows his transgressions. He can think of nothing else. Yet in another part of the Bible David is called a man after God's own heart. David says that his sin in against God only. Now he is not saying that Bathsheba and Uriah and their friends, and David's military leaders were not affected. Their family was destroyed and Uriah was killed! But the offense was aimed primarily against God and God's standards.
Jesus, speaking with the rich young ruler, summarizes the Law and the Prophets in two short thoughts: Love God, Love your neighbor as yourself. If we get those two things right we will be amazed what falls into place. If we all got those two things right the world would be an amazing place. But our sin is ever before us - we struggle putting those two things first.
In verse 14 David asks "the God of my salvation" to deliver him that David's tongue will sing and declare praises to God. David asks to be made clean again. His heart is broken before the Lord - verse 17 - which is the offering God wants from us too. God owns the cattle on a thousand hillsides. What can we give Him other than praise and thanks for the mercy and grace that He freely gives to those who ask - with broken hearts like David.
You and I are no less mortal than King David. Messiah had not come yet, but David had a firm grip on the same mercy God offers today. If you've stumbled over something, first you are not alone. God knows how frail we are. He made us and our hearts. He knows what we're capable of more than we ourselves do. Nothing we do surprises Him. If you've blown it (call it sin if you're not afraid), He stands ready to forgive the broken heart humbly asking for forgiveness knowing that we don't deserve it. David knew that forgiveness in the face of some awful circumstances. God saw through to David's heart and heard his prayer, and forgave him.
God will forgive you and me too. If your heart is broken over something big or small, ask. He will forgive you too.
Grace & Peace,