After David has confessed his sin without trying to excuse it or gloss over it, he goes on to petition God. What does he ask God for? Read Psalm 51:7-12.
David’s reference to cleansing with hyssop utilizes terminology known to every Israelite who had ever visited the sanctuary. As he refers to the ritual acts of cleansing described in the Law of Moses (Leviticus 14:4), he recognized the power of a sacrifice — the Sacrifice — who would come in the future to take away the sins of the world.
David also goes on to ask for “joy” and “gladness.” In the face of the enormity of his sin, isn’t this a little audacious?
Perhaps it may be helpful to listen to this paraphrase: “Tell me I am forgiven so that I may enter the sanctuary again where I can hear the joy and gladness of those worshiping you.”
When Adam and Eve sinned, they hid from God’s presence (Genesis 3:8). Why do you think David’s request, even after his sin, is so different? Read Psalm 51.11-12.
David does not want to lose the consciousness of living in God’s presence. He realizes that without the Holy Spirit, he is powerless. He knows that, as easily as he slipped into sin with Bathsheba, he could slip into sin again. His self-confidence is shattered.
David understands that future victories will not come from him; they will come only from God as he depends totally on God.
The victorious Christian life is not all about us. It is all about Jesus. We yearn for His presence; we crave His Spirit; we want His joy of salvation. We recognize our need for renewal and restoration. We need His rest — a divine act of re-creation. Creation rest is not far from forgiveness. “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10) uses creation terminology. In the Old Testament only God can “create” (bara’) — and once we have been re-created, we can rest.
|If you haven’t experienced the joy and gladness of liberation from a guilty conscience, what is holding you back? If it is guilt, what could you learn from this story that should help you?|