“Searching for Sunday: ‘Confession’”

On Feb. 23, Pastor Jim preaches on Psalm 51.

1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence
and blameless when you pass judgment.
5 Indeed, I was born guilty,
a sinner when my mother conceived me.

6 You desire truth in the inward being;
therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from your presence,
and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in me a willing spirit.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodshed, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.

15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.

King David is described as “a man after God’s own heart.” (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22). However, when it came to breaking God’s commandments, he failed to live up to his name. It could be argued that David broke every one of the 10 Commandments, and, as I like to say, some of them he pulverized.

And yet as great as David’s sin was, just as great was his ability to confess and come clean before God. The Prophet Nathan confronted David with the following crafty story: (2 Samuel, Chapter 12)

1 “There were two men in a certain city. One was rich, and the other was poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cows, 3 but the poor man had only one little female lamb that he had bought. He raised her, and she grew up in his home with his children. She would eat his food and drink from his cup. She rested in his arms and was like a daughter.

4 “Now, a visitor came to the rich man. The rich man thought it would be a pity to take one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler. So he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared her for the traveler.”

5 David burned with anger against the man. “I solemnly swear, as the Lord lives,” he said to Nathan, “the man who did this certainly deserves to die! 6 And he must pay back four times the price of the lamb because he did this and had no pity.”

7 “You are the man!” Nathan told David.

A pretty crafty way for the prophet to get his kind to admit his sins.

David was cut to the quick. He repented, he confessed, and he was forgiven.

This coming Sunday we’ll think together about such things.