"Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to the multitude of Your tender mercy and loving-kindness blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly [and repeatedly] from my iniquity and guilt and cleanse me and make me wholly pure from my sin! For I am conscious of my transgressions and I acknowledge them; my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned and done that which is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified in Your sentence and faultless in Your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in [a state of] iniquity; my mother was sinful who conceived me [and I too am sinful]. Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart." Psalm 51:1–6
The heading under this psalm reads: “A Psalm of David; when Nathan the prophet came to him after he had sinned with Bathsheba.” David cried out for mercy because he had sinned with Bathsheba, and when he learned she was pregnant, he had had her husband murdered in battle.After David confessed his sin, Nathan said to him, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord and given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child that is born to you shall surely die” (2 Samuel 12:13–14).
That’s the first lesson I grasped from this incident ~ when we fail God, we harm our self, but we also bring dishonor to His name. Whenever we take a false step, there are those who watch and gleefully point their fingers ~ unfortunately the two always go together AND not only do we bring disgrace on the name of the Lord, but we fail our self....... we knew the right but chose the wrong.
As if that were not enough, the devil also whispers, “See how bad you are. God won’t forgive you. It’s too awful.” Of course, he’s lying, because that’s what he does best. We can't listen to those words, because there is no sin that we’ve committed that God won’t forgive! We may have to carry the scars or pay the penalty within the world we live in, but God wipes away the sin in His world.
There’s something else I learned from this scripture passage ~ we need to face reality! We sin, we disobeyed God, so what will we do about our sin? We can plead excuses (and most of us are good at that), or we can follow David’s example like when the prophet said, “You are the man…” 2 Samuel 12:7, the king did not deny his wrongdoing or try to justify his actions. David admitted he was the man, he had sinned and he had confessed.
David wrote in the psalm quoted earlier: “For I am conscious of my transgressions and I acknowledge them; my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned and done that which is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified in Your sentence and faultless in Your judgment” (vs. 3–4).
If we follow Jesus Christ, not only are we declaring to our self, to our family, and to the world our trust in the Savior, but we are also declaring our stand for truth! It’s easy for us to deceive ourselves, but God has called us to be totally, completely, and scrupulously honest in our inner being. Don’t look at what others may get away with or how they justify their behavior ~ we can’t blame others, the devil, or our circumstances for the sins we commit, we are solely responsible for our actions whether good or bad.
However, when we fail, we can remind our self that the greatest king of Israel, in his own failings, cried out to God and said, “My sin is ever before me” (v. 3). Those sins, failures, shortcomings, etc (whatever you may choose to call them) will always be there until we admit them and confess them to the Lord ~ only then can we know the joy of living with integrity and in truth.
We need to strive to live with truth in our inner being. We ourselves, and God are the only ones who know what’s in our heart ~ live in honesty and truth!
Dear Holy God, You desire truth in my inner being. Through Jesus Christ, I plead with You to help me desire truth in my inner being, to live in such a way that I’m as honest and as open with You as I can become. Make me to know wisdom in my inmost heart. I know that the life You honor is the life You bless. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.