Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Psalm 51:19

Then there will be righteous sacrifices,
whole burnt offerings to delight you;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

(NIV)


When God is in control, instead of us, then our obedience to him will once again be delightful. God will be pleased, hence producing our own pleasure.

Repentance from a dominating sin can be a hard road at times, but in the end we will be right back where we belong, in the city of God.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Psalm 51:18

In your good pleasure make Zion prosper;
build up the walls of Jerusalem.

(NIV)


Zion is God's kingdom. And David is praying that God would do good to His kingdom. These words are similar to the words of Christ when the example prayer was prayed for the disciples. Jesus prayed, "...Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven..."

When we recover from sin, our thoughts should begin to go back to where they belong: On God and his expanding kingdom.

No longer are we going to be dwelling on selfish thoughts: on how we are doing, on how our lives are playing out, on what we are getting out of different situations. We will begin to think on others. We will begin to think about how we can meet the needs of others and serve them, all for the advancing of the kingdom.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Psalm 51:17

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
  a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.

(NIV)


Ask yourself today if you are offering the right sacrifices to God.

Many people give their tithe, wear the right clothes, make sure they pray for their food, etc. But they never break down and let God begin that good work in their inner being. God is never allowed to step foot into their heart or soul.

Don't be that way. Let God break you.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Psalm 51:16

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

(NIV)


Outward adherence to religious practices just doesn't work. God takes no pleasure in these things when the heart is far from him.

Where are you at today? Are you just following the right pattern on the outside?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Psalm 51:15

O Lord, open my lips,
  and my mouth will declare your praise.

(NIV)


When God has done so much for us, we mus sing of His praise. We can't hold it back. God will open our lips so that our mouths will declare his greatness.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Psalm 51:14

Save me from bloodguilt, O God,
  the God who saves me,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.

(NIV)


Knowing what you deserve can many times help you to know what you need to be saved from. David (along with the rest of us) deserves to die, he knows this and cries out to God for salvation from what he deserves.

And he cries out to God because he knows that God is the saving kind of God.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Psalm 51:13

Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will turn back to you.

(NIV)


This is a huge thought. Especially as a teacher it is good to remind yourself that you need to get your own life in order before you go teaching everyone else where they need to straighten up.

When repentance has truly happened, when joy and fellowship is restored, then your life will teach.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Psalm 51:12

Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

(NIV)


David here cries for the joy to be returned. When you have given into sin, the joy leaves. The heart is filled with sadness, but being in Christ will lead to complete joy... the Joy of Christ Himself. (John 15:11)

Monday, November 14, 2005

Psalm 51:11

Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.

(NIV)


This verse used to confuse me. Why would David be asking God these questions?

In II Corinthians 1:21-22 it tells us --
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.


The Holy Spirit is our seal. It is a mark of God's ownership on us, and it is the guarantee that there is more to come for us. We cannot remove the seal of God.

And we can see a similar concept in Ephesians 4:30 --
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.


In this passage, it can even be seen that this seal is not removed even when we are grieving the Spirit.

The best way to understand Psalm 51:11 is to first realize that David had not received the full revelation of the Word of God. There were many mysteries that had not been revealed yet. They did not fully comprehend the truth of who the Christ would be. So David was speaking on what he understood.

But regardless of whether or not David understood these concepts, there are many examples in the Bible of people asking God for things that He had already promised.

When I am at the grocery store, when I am returning my cart to the cart return in the parking lot, sometimes I keep my son with me. And it never fails, right before I start to pick him up, he will say, "Daddy! Don't leave me!" He always does this with a smile on his face, because we both know that I would never leave him in the cart.

This is the same thing that I believe David is doing. He says, "Don't cast me from your presence, Don't take your Spirit from me!" Both God and David know that these things would never happen, but David cries out anyway.

It shows his dependence on God, and his desire for God to be there.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Psalm 51:10

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

(NIV)


When we have been in sin, it leaves us with an unclean feeling. Even though we have been washed by the blood of Christ, our hearts many times still feel unworthy to be in the presence of God... Unworthy to pray or to think righteous thoughts. We get the sense that we have blown it for good.

But God wants to create in us again a pure heart. I don't think that this verse is teaching us a doctrine of salvation, I think that David is expressing what he knows that he needs: a pure heart. A heart that is clean.

He doesn't want to be floating around in the middle anymore. He wants a heart that is back where it used to be, and he wants it to stay there.

A heart that is pure and a spirit that is steadfast.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Psalm 51:9

Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.

(NIV)


This should be all of our cries, because this is our only hope.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Psalm 51:8

Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

(NIV)


When you are coming away from sin, so many times there is no joy and gladness. I know that sometimes there is, but many times as you walk away, you end up more like Lot's wife. Instead of looking forward, you are constantly looking back.

There are some that never get past that part.

I think that this is why David is asking for the joy. He knows it is there, he knows it is coming, but he isn't quite there yet. So he cries out to God, "Let me hear joy and gladness!" God you have crushed me. I know it was for my own good, but I am ready to move on to the rejoicing part!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Psalm 51:7

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

(NIV)


Matthew Henry's Commentary explains the purging with hyssop this way,

"The expression here alludes to a ceremonial distinction, that of cleansing the leper, or those that were unclean by the touch of a body by sprinkling water, or blood, or both upon them with a bunch of hyssop, by which they were, at length, discharged from the restraints they were laid under by their pollution."


You see, sin restrains us from fellowship with God. We cannot have access to him because we are unclean, but he will purge us and cleanse us, so that the access can be restored.

The clearest understanding of this is the cross. Only by the blood of Christ are we truly cleansed and as Isaiah put it, "...made whiter than snow."

Monday, November 07, 2005

Psalm 51:6

Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;
you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

(NIV)


This Psalm started out with David crying out to God. After that first verse, the focus began to shift. Starting out with God, then that he sinned against God, then that he has always been a sinner, and now to the core of the sin problem.

David realizes that the sins that he committed were an outward fruit of an inward problem. If there is going to be any real change, it must start within. It must be a work of God.

If you are allowing sin to dwell in the heart, it will show itself eventually. But you don't have to wait. Cry out to God for mercy today.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Psalm 51:5

Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

(NIV)


This is an important truth that gets skipped over from time to time. We are without a doubt, sin-infested from the time of conception. We are not good.

Any parent should be able to testify to this. I have never had to teach my children to lie, cheat, or steal... but they can do all three of those things quite adequately.

Here is how the Minnesota Crime Commission put it:

"Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it: his bottle, his mother's attention, his playmate's toys, his uncle's watch, or whatever. Deny him these and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness which would be murderous were he not so helpless. He's dirty, he has no morals, no knowledge, no developed skills. This means that all children, not just certain children but all children, are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in their self-centered world of infancy, given free reign to their impulsive actions to satisfy each want, every child would grow up a criminal, a thief, a killer, a rapist."


So True.

Lord, don't love us because of who we are. Instead, have mercy on us O God, according to your great love, according to your great compassion!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Psalm 51:4

Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.

(NIV)


All sin is against God, and God sees all sin.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Psalm 51:3

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.

(NIV)


I think that most of us have experienced this before. Think back to the last time that there was some major sin in your life. Didn't it seem that that was always at the forefront of your mind. It was always there, it was always right before you.

But David didn't only have it present in mind, he had a daily reminder of his sin. Bathsheba, the woman that he had committed adultery with, the woman whose husband he had had murdered, was now his wife. She was there to daily remind him of his sin.

So he cries out for mercy. He knows his transgressions. He knows that he can no longer live this way. Nothing can hold him back. He must be right with God.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Psalm 51:2

Wash away all my iniquity
      and cleanse me from my sin.

(NIV)


There are so many thoughts in this verse. There is the ultimate idea of being washed from sin, by the blood of Christ on the cross. But I also get the idea that he is praying for some immediate relief.