Thought for the Week - 9th October

Vanda Hopkin
Psalm 51: 1-19

Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,
And blameless when You judge.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
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.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.
Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
The God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.
Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness,
With burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.

I want to concentrate on the verse “you desire truth in the inward parts”.  Here we learn that man is split into two parts, that of the outer man and that of the inner man, with the depth of his heart and soul.  These days, even most Christians are more bothered with the outer man.  Indeed, we can go through our entire lives without the inner man being changed.

On Wednesday in our Bible Study, we discussed the lies of the enemy and the lies we can tell ourselves. God calls us to live not in a superficial way.  We don’t have to be caught up with the outer man.  So many of us can keep God out of that inner place, whether it’s through hurt, things that have happened, or if we’re afraid of what He will do in us.

David was a man with a heart after God.  He was king of Israel, commanded a kingdom, and possessed many riches.  Instead of going to war, David walked along the rooftops where he saw a married woman bathing.  He took her.  She became pregnant and David arranged for her husband to be put in the front of the battle and killed.  David committed adultery and murder.  No one knew, but God knew.  As did Nathan, the mighty man of God.

God had anointed David and delivered him from Saul.  He had given him everything.  Yet David did evil in His sight.  The child died and as you can imagine, David was devastated.  However, David never blamed anyone.

As Christians, we can build up lies and blame to create a covering around us.  Look at how Adam blamed Eve for his actions.  How far away we from the things of God that we can’t take what He’s saying to us?  We’re blessed to be in a church where we are known by God and by our leaders.  God reveals things.  We’re not in the game of building numbers, but in building up the inner man where outer lives mirror inner lives.

It’s easy to take offence at the things the Nathan’s of today tell us.  So often we keep a sin… we may hate the consequences and how it makes us feel, and so we deny it!  God in his wisdom will single out the thing that harms us the most.  He is the master cutter.  He knows what to snip and when to snip it!

It took Nathan the prophet to show David his sin.  It can be the same for us.  We can find ourselves convincing ourselves that God is fine with x, y and z.  Come before God and say you’re wrong.

No matter how much we lie to ourselves, it will eat us up!  We suddenly start taking things back.  Then a hardness comes, followed by bitterness.  Before we know it, we start being bitter against the things of God.  We make excuses so that the blame goes on other shoulders rather than ours.  That is, until we go and confess and repent.  We need to come to God in truth, face our sin head on and see it for what it is!  Come guilty, but to be forgiven and pardoned.

No matter what we’ve done, said or been, there is a God in heaven who loves us!  There is a Christ who has died for us!  He can wash us clean and make us who we are meant to be.  How much more can we do when we allow God to come deep inside and shining his light!  We should not be in the business of hiding!

Don’t be complacent with sin!  Our God is a God of judgement.  Christ took that sin so that we don’t have to live hiding our inner man.  Where Christ comes, there is truth… and that truth sets us free!  For all the things that have bound and chained us, God says come and be free!

David was never the same again.  Let God in to deal with that inner man, that we might be set free!

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