Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Filey Parish 40 Days and Nights , Day 8 On Psalm 51

Candles (Speeton Church)

David was only a lad when Samuel sought him out and anointed him for Kingship; a 'monarch in waiting.' It is said of David that he was 'a man after God's own heart.' I like that testimonial; David wanted what God wanted.  He loved God's law and was no stranger to prayer.  He had a reverence and a zeal for God and wanted His people to honour Him.  If we didn't know what followed next , we would readily place him on a very high pedestal.

At a time 'when kings went out to battle' David (now king) remained in Jerusalem and it was during this time of ease, that he spied the alluring Bathsheba bathing.  By now, David was well acquainted with getting what he wanted and Bathsheba was no exception.  He requested that she be brought to him and the rest is history.  Bathsheba became pregnant ;  David attempted to disguise his actions and failed. Uriah refused to have sex with his wife Bathsheba , during a time of war, even at the invitation of the king!  So David calculated how to bring about Uriah's death; he  placed him into the heat of battle and there he died.

The prophet Nathan visited David and told him a story about a rich man who stole a precious lamb from a poor man and his family.  David at first indignant,at the greed of the rich man, is confronted with Nathan's searing declaration; 'You are the man' and in those words David saw himself as he really was.  It is at this point I begin to admire him again.  He wasted no time on sad excuses, he simply admitted his sin.  Psalm 51 beautifully captures his repentance and desire for a 'clean heart'.  It's a wonderful Psalm and just as relevant today.  The human condition has not changed;  we still need to be truly sorry for our wrongdoings and be reconciled to God.  As a result of his sin David didn't die and he was forgiven, but there were consequences to his actions;  Bathsheba's child died and the House of David 'turned in' on itself.

I feel really moved , reading these verses about David again ( 2 Samuel Chs 11 and 12). David the 'least amongst his brothers' anointed to be king and a recipient of God's generosity.  Taking what wasn't his and having to face exposure, at the hand of Nathan.  The revelation of sexual sin is still a 'tough call' amongst the people of God, even within a loving congregation.  Thankfully the Bible hasn't been 'tidied up' ; the messy bits are still there and we are brought to the realisation that it's all happened before ,in one form or another.  We need not lose heart however , the grubbiest and most unpleasant of deeds and thoughts can be repented of and forgiven.

'Create in me a clean heart O God'


1 comment:

  1. At the start of another fresh clean day that is waiting to be lived, I say "create in me a clean heart". Here I am , Lord ,with all my human characteristics, saying,forgive what is past and let me start again.



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