Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Devotion 3.9.17

Forgiveness - Psalm 51

What's the most unforgivable thing you have ever done?  Oh, somewhere in all of our memories, there is that one item that when it comes to mind our skin crawls.  It is, in a word, a deep regret.  It was a sin we would just as soon forget. 

David committed a sin that snowballed into an abundance of sins.  Lust turned to adultery which turned into lying and misleading which turned into leading a man to death (murder).  Of course, the entire episode was also violating the first commandment because David took his eyes off God.  It was the card pulled from a house of cards that caused the entire house to fall.  It was calamitous.  (2 Samuel 11)

Nathan gets the assignment to talk to David and call him on the carpet on behalf of God.  We know that would be a difficult assignment, but Nathan confronts David with a story about a wealthy man who takes a lamb from a man with little for his own banquet.  "Bring me that man!" David demands. "You are that man!" Nathan replies (2 Samuel 12).  David is confronted with facing the brutal reality of what he had done. 

Yet, even at his worst, David shows us how to deal with sin.  From it is a beautiful psalm, Psalm 51, which David asks God for forgiveness and spiritual renewal.  "Create in me, a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Caste me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me, the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit." (10 - 12)  "The Message" (Eugene Peterson) says, "God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don't throw me out with the trash or fail to breathe holiness in me.  Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails."

God forgave David.  Christ forgave the thief on the cross and asked the Father to forgive the crowd who hurled insults at him while on the cross (Luke 23).  Christ, too, forgives us.

We turn to God for our forgiveness, even when we believe it is unforgiveable.  "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." (Lord's Prayer)  We pray we know that because of our faith in Christ that forgiveness is there, and that we know God's forgiveness is real and not dwell in the guilt from our sin.  We pray that we, like God, forgive others as well.

Hope Men's Ministry

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