Apr 072015

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Psalm 51:10-12 (ESV)

Spring has sprung! I love spring (except for allergies). The long, cold winter seems to wreak havoc on the house, inside and out. Outside, there are sticks and leaves all over the yard and flower beds, mold and dirt on the vinyl siding and decks – especially where the sun does not hit the house – and inside, there are many undone projects. Cluttered closets, walls that need a fresh coat of paint, floors that need to be waxed and buffed. Where do we find the time?

Right now is also a great time to pray with David, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” As a matter of fact, this is the most important cleaning that needs to be done.

The psalms were poems that were sung, and Psalm 51 is no different. Although it was written out of David’s experience, it would be sung by all in worship.[1] All of us have been conceived in iniquity (v. 5), we have all sinned against God ultimately (v. 4), and we all need mercy and cleansing (v.1-2, 7, 9). We all need spring cleaning. You see, God delights in truth in the inward being (v. 6). By nature, I like to try to cover up my sin, but God sees it. I have blind spots, He does not. We should pray that He teaches us wisdom in the secret heart, that He might reveal hidden sins. “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

This conviction of sin is like the breaking of bones (v. 8). It is painful indeed to be confronted with the evil in our heart, yet because of God’s mercy and cleansing, it leads to rejoicing. God does not treat us as our sins deserve and He forgives us through Christ, according to His steadfast love.

Don’t do your spring cleaning half-way! That is something I am prone to do. Let us pray with David, “Wash me thoroughly!” And, don’t procrastinate! We know from Scripture that Nathan confronted David around nine months after David sinned with Bathsheba and his murder of Uriah, for the child of their adultery was stricken to death by the Lord, seven days after his birth (2 Samuel 12). May God give us grace to deal quickly with our sins, keep short accounts with Him, and to walk in the joy of our salvation. I am so thankful today that He has not cast out this smoldering wick and that He is willing to uphold me!

God, please cleanse us and wash us whiter than snow. Please do not hide Your face from us. For Christ’s sake and because of the righteous blood He shed for us, restore to us Your everlasting joy, this spring and forever! Amen.

Pastor Bill

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[1] Just a side note here: the superscripts in the Psalms are a part of the inspired Scripture. Not the publisher’s title to the chapter, but the superscripts. David penned this Psalm sometime after Nathan the prophet confronted him with his sin (2 Samuel 11-12).


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