April 23, 2014
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
What a heartfelt confession is Psalm 51! David penned it to express his sorrow and repentance for committing adultery with Bathsheba and then having her husband Uriah murdered. That sad story is recorded in II Samuel 11. The king’s spiritual turnaround came a year later when Nathan – prophet and court advisor – confronted David concerning the king’s sins. Here, we will look at Psalm 51:11 through 15:
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 with Your
generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners
shall be converted to You. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, 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.
I love verse 11 because it reminds me that in this age of grace followers of the Lord Jesus Christ do not have to concern themselves with what was troubling David: “Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” In Old Testament times – the dispensation of the law – God’s Holy Spirit did not permanently indwell Jehovah’s faithful. He would come upon them, and even fill them from within for specific circumstances, but He was not a continual resident within (see Exodus 31:2 and 3; I Samuel 11:10 and 16:14 for examples).
But since Pentecost – the birth of the Church – the Holy Spirit has indwelt permanently all who come to Jesus Christ in faith, believing He is the only Savior who can wash away their sins by His precious blood! This is why Jesus could say in Hebrews 13:5 and Matthew 28:20, “I will never leave you nor forsake you….I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” He is with us because His Spirit resides in us! Jesus also said in John 6:37, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” So we do not have to plead, “Do not cast me away from Your presence….”
Paul wrote about this in Ephesians 1:12 through 14:
…we…trusted in Christ…in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with
the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the
redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
We are Christ’s and He is ours – marked permanently as the Lord’s possession by the indwelling Holy Spirit – until Jesus returns from heaven to claim His own!
However, the next phrase – verse 12 or David’s psalm – surely does apply to Christians today! “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with Your generous Spirit.” David experienced it, and we can too! When we disobey God and don’t confess and repent of that sin, we lose close fellowship with Him – and the joy that goes with that fellowship! “The joy of our salvation” is restored upon confession and repentance! And then our prayer should be that we will remain true to Him, “upheld by His generous Spirit.”
Notice the progression in verse 13: “Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.” I have found that I lose my concern for others to come to Jesus Christ when I have unconfessed sin in my life. But when I am restored to fellowship with my Lord – and back where I should be – then my desire to see the people be saved and grow in Christ returns.
“Bloodguiltiness” in verse 14 has a two-fold meaning:
• Before God, the murderer – the one who willfully takes another’s life in hate and/or anger – is held accountable to the Creator of life! God told Cain in Genesis 4:10 and 11, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth….”
• Before man, the murderer is legally held accountable. Part of the Noahic covenant, still in effect today, is spelled out in Genesis 9:6: “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed….”
David’s plea to deliver him from bloodguiltiness is based on one thing only: “O God, the God of my salvation….” God was David’s personal Savior! And He is ours – through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ!
The result of such deliverance? Verses 14 and 15: “…my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise.” The more you understand to what degree God through Jesus Christ has saved you and delivered you from sin, the more His praises will be on your lips – and that from a heart filled with a new song giving glory unto Him!