Thursday, August 20, 2009

Naked Repentance

Today's Bible Reading:
Psalm 51:1-19

Recommended Reading:
2 Samuel 11:1-12:25
Psalm 139:23-24
1 John 1:9

If you stared your reading today at Psalm 51:1, you may have missed and important bit of background. Look again at the notation under the psalm chapter heading, and you'll understand David's state of mind when he wrote this well-known song.
David faced another spring night in which boredom set in and almost every possible diversion felt like too much effort. The couch made no demands, and the remote fit snugly in his hands. David hit the channel button at random until an alluring flicker caught his attention. Reverse. Stop. He zoomed in to a tantalizing scene-an intimate candlelit spa. he could almost smell the candle wax and bath oil. Although the cool evening air caused a slight haze to rise from the water, the bather's physical attributes were unmistakable.
Long before TV, Kind David knew about channel surfing. Bored, enticed and trapped by his desires, David figured out the bather's name and address before she had even toweled off. He sent messengers to fetch her. But before Bathsheba even responded to the king's summons, David had already sinned. The rest of the story provides the sordid details: adultery, plotting, lying, murder.
Fast forward to a courageous friend, Nathan. he leveled with David and bravely pointed out the king's sins. Now, in a moment of excruciating repentance, David composes a worship song and in the process unburdens his soul. He realizes that despite all his efforts to cover up his sins, God still saw everything, David knows his actions were deeply offensive to God. Now his sin and his soul like naked, exposed before the Lord.
Life offers nearly endless recipes for disaster; Davids' song offers one for forgiveness and mercy. Unmasked, we can turn to God. We can pray and ask for a Nathan to hold us accountable. And we can learn to trust God enough to approach him even when we feel least worthy of that privilege.
God promises to accept a "broken and contrite heart." when we fail to live up to his standard for our lives, we need to come to him with David's prayer on our lips and flowing from our hearts.

To Take Away:
  • From Psalm 51, identify each action David longs for God to do on his behalf, which of these do you need in your life?
  • What statement or image in this Psalm most clearly expresses for you the idea of repentance?
  • When was the last time you came before God with a "broken and contrite heart"? How did God respond?
-Devotions from various writers, New Men's Devotional Bible, pg: 592

**Scripture taken from the HOLY BILE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978m 1984 by the International Bile Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.**

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