Returning Back to God Reflections on Psalms & Proverbs, Part 10 Psalm 51:1-19 April 6, 2014 Pastor Paul K. Kim
THE BACKGROUND STORY OF PSALM 51 Beautiful Bathsheba: adultery and pregnancy. Uriah the Hittite: cover-up plan #1—set him up to sleep with his wife [two attempts didn’t work]. A Letter to Joab: cover-up plan #2—set him up to get killed by the sword of the Ammonites in the battle [worked?]. “... But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.” 2 Samuel 11:27b Nathan the Prophet: “You are the man!”
1 And the LORD sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had very many flocks and herds, 3 but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. 4 Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man's lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” 5 Then David's anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, 6 and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.” 7 Nathan said to David, “You are the man!” 2 Samuel 12:1-7
HOW DO YOU RETURN BACK TO GOD TO RESTORE A GUILT-RIDDEN HEART? 1)COME CLEAN about your sin, leaning hard on God’s covenantal love and mercy for you. If there is anything worse than our sins, it is our infinite capacity to rationalize it away. Charles Colson
HOW DO YOU RETURN BACK TO GOD TO RESTORE A GUILT-RIDDEN HEART? 1)COME CLEAN about your sin, leaning hard on God’s covenantal love and mercy for you. 1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! (vs. 1-2)
HOW DO YOU RETURN BACK TO GOD TO RESTORE A GUILT-RIDDEN HEART? 1)COME CLEAN about your sin, leaning hard on God’s covenantal love and mercy for you. 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. (vs. 3-4) Returning back to God in true repentance begins with coming clean fully about our sin, owning it as our responsibility. Notice how David admits his wrong: my sin, my iniquity, my transgressions, & what is evil in your sight [no rationalization]. In so doing, we must plead for MERCY, leaning hard on God’s “never-let-me-go” love [hesed] and “never-run-dry” mercy!
HOW DO YOU RETURN BACK TO GOD TO RESTORE A GUILT-RIDDEN HEART? 2)Confess YOUR SINFUL HEART TO GOD, without justifying or defending yourself. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. (vs.5-6)
HOW DO YOU RETURN BACK TO GOD TO RESTORE A GUILT-RIDDEN HEART? 2)Confess YOUR SINFUL HEART TO GOD, without justifying or defending yourself. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. (vs. 7-9) David’s confession is not just about his sinful deeds but also about his sinful heart—i.e., “I am ‘a sinner’ who did this evil.” Unless we come to terms with the depth of depravity within us, we will not give up on defending or justifying ourselves. God redeems and cleanses ONLY “sinners” who surrender their rights for self-justification and self-defense before God.
HOW DO YOU RETURN BACK TO GOD TO RESTORE A GUILT-RIDDEN HEART? 3)Ask God to do what you cannot do yourself—REDEMPTION FROM YOUR SIN AND RESTORATION OF YOUR HEART. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (vs. 10-13)
HOW DO YOU RETURN BACK TO GOD TO RESTORE A GUILT-RIDDEN HEART? 3)Ask God to do what you cannot do yourself—REDEMPTION FROM YOUR SIN AND RESTORATION OF YOUR HEART. 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. 14 Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. (vs. 13-14) Restoring our guilt-ridden heart requires God’s “creating” power to make our hearts anew! We must surrender our numb/guilt-ridden heart to God who can create a new heart and renew a right spirit within us. If so, God will deliver us from the guilt by Christ’s blood and set us free from sin/guilt, restoring the joy of salvation in us!
HOW DO YOU RETURN BACK TO GOD TO RESTORE A GUILT-RIDDEN HEART? 4)Praise the LORD with A BROKEN AND CONTRITE HEART, interceding for all those who were affected by your sin. 15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (vs.15-17)
HOW DO YOU RETURN BACK TO GOD TO RESTORE A GUILT-RIDDEN HEART? 4)Praise the LORD with A BROKEN AND CONTRITE HEART, interceding for all those who were affected by your sin. 18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem; 19 then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar. (vs.18-19) David’s secret to approaching God was in having a “broken and contrite heart”—a spiritual readiness for God’s mercy! In so doing, we can ask for restoration of our proper worship to God—experiencing God’s love and intimate fellowship. Full restoration of a guilt-ridden heart involves also making amends and praying for those who were affected by our sin.
A Tenfold Cry for a Broken and Contrite Heart (1) "Have mercy upon me." (2) "Blot out my transgressions." (3) "Wash me thoroughly." (4) "Cleanse me." (5) "Purge me." (6) "Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." (7) "Create in me a clean heart." (8) "Renew a right spirit within me." (9) "Restore unto me the joy..." (10) "Uphold me... Then will I teach..." ― William G. Heslop
THREE PRACTICAL QUESTIONS FOR OUR EVERYDAY LIFE 1.In what ways are you convinced more of your need for God’s restoration of your heart? 2.What one insight of this message was most helpful for you to return back to God in true repentance? 3.What do you need to confess and come clean about today with a broken and contrite heart?