He restores us, and changing the heart toward the Lord is one of the challenges of every believer, because evil and defilement comes from within.
1. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your mercy;
According to the multitude of thy mercies blot out my transgressions.
2. Wash me more and more from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
3. For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
4. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned,
And I have done that which is evil in thy sight;
That thou mayest be acknowledged righteous in thy word,
And to be pure in thy judgment.
5. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity,
And in sin did my mother conceive me.
6. Behold, thou lovest the truth in the inward parts of me.
And in secret hast thou made me to understand wisdom.
7. Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8. Make me to hear joy and gladness,
And the bones that thou hast broken shall be made whole.
9. Hide thy face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.
10. Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a right spirit within me.
11. Cast me not away from thy presence,
And take not thy holy Spirit from me.
12. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation,
And a noble spirit sustain me.
A repentant sinner
This is undoubtedly one of the psalms that most impacts me, because I identify very much with David.
Surely you and we all know David, this real life character who is known for the famous story of that beautiful young man who faced the fearsome Goliath and defeated him with a slingshot, by the hand of the Lord.
God had chosen David from a very early age and he was chosen by the Lord to be the second king of Israel, and surely the most important, who marked an era and was anointed by God himself.
But in spite of this, David sinned.
After having been a man who had always been supported by God, and who with a sincere heart sought him, he looked at a woman, who was not his wife with desire, and slept with her.
And not content with that, as this woman was married, he devised a plan so that this man, who was a soldier, would be put in the front line of battle to die and so it happened.
That man used by God, not only committed adultery, but also planned a murder.
And this obviously made a dent in David’s heart, because there is a moment in which the believer after sinning, after falling, becomes aware.
And this psalm is born a time after all this that I am telling you, a time when David had to go through the consequences of his actions.
The consequences of sin are inevitable, but God is patient, slow to anger and great in mercy.
Adam and Eve hid themselves.
When Adam and Eve sinned in Eden, the scriptures tell us that in the evening hour when they were in the habit of conversing with the Lord, they were hiding, and they told the Lord that they were naked.
And of course the Lord already knew what had happened, but he was giving them the opportunity to confess.
David sinned, and when he did he did not react quickly, because he was obsessed by that woman, whom he later married and they had a child, the Lord waited for David’s repentance but it did not come until some time later, and that first baby died.
Let us identify what it is that clouds our vision and makes us stagger.
The consequences of sin
Sin always has consequences, the enemy enters when we open the door, and wreaks havoc, he is not satisfied with bothering us, but his passion is to destroy everything we value and love.
Many times we believers open our eyes and repentance comes when we begin to lose all those blessings we had with the Lord.
Other times, in the best of cases, when we deal with a weakness, with a temptation that can have many forms, repentance and pain, for falling into that passion, comes right away.
David asked for a new heart
It is not what surrounds us that defiles us, but what is within us, our passions, our evil desires, we have an inheritance of sin that we carry.
David was restored by God when his heart surrendered to Him.
Peter was restored by Jesus himself after he denied him, Jesus sought him out and Peter declared his love for him three times, just as he denied him three times.
Jesus did not go looking for him to reproach him, he went looking for him to restore the relationship, and he told him, if you love me, feed my sheep, he did not talk to him about the subject, only about his love.
In other words, he told him, if you love me, devote yourself to my things, I no longer remember what you did, I see your life walking in my purpose, and this is his desire for us too.
19. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
Jesus himself said this, it means that it is not what is outside that makes us fall, but what is inside us, it is our evil desires that we struggle with.
David struggled with his passion, and in this beautiful psalm he expressed all that he felt after that stumble in his life.
He asks “purify me with hyssop”, it means in detail, in depth, that no corner is left in me, give me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me, that was his prayer.
And it should be your prayer and mine
It is not easy to stay focused, but it is not impossible when we love the Lord, we want His Spirit to be within us and not lose it.
The truth is that no one is holy, none of us, and we all struggle with those things we desire.
Genesis 39:11-12 tells the story of an escape that saved Joseph’s life.
11. And it came to pass one day, that he went into the house to do his work, and there was none of the household there. 12. And she caught him by his garment, saying, Sleep with me. And he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and went out.
Joseph saved his spiritual life by fleeing from this woman who represented a great temptation in his life
Because there are escapes that are the ones that save us, when what we have in front of us is difficult to overcome, because it means a great weakness.
David complicated his life by falling into temptation, but the Lord is merciful in both situations, He does not destroy us, but restores us.
We can be restored
Let us approach Him with confidence, knowing that He loves us with an everlasting love, and if we have fallen, He lifts us up.
No matter your sin, no matter your fall, it is not news to God what would happen in our life, nor what things we would get into, of course obedience saves us from going through the painful consequences of sin, but, sometimes, we must go through it, like David.
And it is at that moment when we echo Psalm 51 and ask the Lord, change me, purify me with hyssop and give me a new heart.
Sometimes we do not fall because we do not love God, but because our humanity plays tricks on us, but it is at that moment that the grace given by the Lord on the cross is put to work.
It is at that moment that the advocate we have in heaven justifies us through his blood and cleanses us again.
You have the opportunity
There is surely a voice inside you telling you that you are not fit to follow Jesus, but there is another voice coming from above that in 1 Peter 2:9 cries out to you:
9. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Because God gives you a different name than you used to have.
On that cross were nailed all those things that scalded us and all our sin, He paid for us, that cross was our opportunity.
He changed our identity.
Your identity is not marked by your weakness, nor by what you have lived in the past, nor by what others say about you.
We are what God says we are, that is our identity, not because we are saints, but because we are justified by Jesus on the Cross of Calvary.
Cheer up and come closer to Him, because He neither condemns you nor undoes you, but embraces you, restores you and helps you to walk as a good father teaches his children in the mistakes and in the successes.
If you never opened your heart to Jesus, say with me “Lord Jesus, I open my heart to you, forgive me, cleanse me and give me a new heart according to you, write my name in the book of eternal life, Amen”.