January 2nd - Clean Heart
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Psalm 51:7-12 (NKJV)
David starts the 51st Psalm with a heartfelt entreaty: “Have mercy on me, O God.” David cries out to God after the Prophet Nathan nailed David to the wall with a direct and valid accusation: “You (David) are the man!” What sin was Nathan forcing David to acknowledge? That David had committed adultery and then covered it up with murder. David was guilty as charged. David, the man called, “a man after God’s own heart,” was devastated by his personal failure. My own personal failures—my sin before the Lord are not the same particular sins that David committed; However, I feel the
devastation of my own sin and personal failures. My journey through life has often been detoured and my effectiveness to serve God has been limited by the wrong attitudes of the heart that lead to sin. I am hardly an innocent man.
What should I do with my guilt? What can I do to turn my life around? Is there any hope to be found? My only hope is found in a God of amazing grace, of lovingkindness and tender mercies. It is in true humility that I cry out with David, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” My cry is for God to fix in me something that has been broken. My cry is for God to attend to the matters in my emotional construct that are beyond my ability to understand. My cry is for God to create something renewed, something clean, in place of something that is jaded and familiar. Our cries to God do not go unheeded. Our prayers to God do not go unheard. Our repentance before God does not go unnoticed. For the God who loves you and me, more than we love ourselves, delights in washing us whiter than snow and transforming us into a much better version of us.
Author's Note: As I journey through life I thought that I would experience a wisdom that would translate into better decision-making. Perhaps the main difference between the time I was a young man compared to now, is that I am simply more aware of my vulnerablities to sin and my utter dependance upon God. I am thankful for a God of tender mercies. RJD