Penitent Prayer

Key Text: Psalm 51 

When we were children, we learnt how to say sorry to our friends and parents. We were quick to accept their forgiveness and immediately acted like nothing ever happened. All was forgiven and seldom did we see any consequence for our bad offensive behavior. Did we adopt this way of saying sorry when we learnt that our behavior was offensive to God? Can we possibly turn to The Omnipotent Creator of the Universe and simply say ‘sorry’ without any repercussions? If we ever heard our earthly parents shout, “who do you think you are?”, what would God’s reaction be? God The Father is far superior in patience and mercy than our earthly parents, but is His sense of justice duller than our parents? Psalm 51 is a great example of how to say sorry to God. The reason it is such a good example is because of two truths in David’s life. Firstly, he knew his origin and how the sin of Judah & Tamar held consequences on his heritage (comp. Gen. 38:12-19 & Dt. 23:2), his family roots were not forgotten, v5. David is the tenth generation from the illegitimate Perez, Mt. 1:3-7. Secondly, he was personally involved in accepting his own individual responsibility for his sin and the many consequences his offences would bring, 2Chron. 22:8. In this sense, David’s family knew that his mother was ceremonially unclean according to the law, Dt. 23:2, in his generation from conception, and that he was born with the anointed purpose of ruling as a ‘bloody’ king, 1Kings 5:3, Psa. 51:14. 

This brings us to look at our own heritage and standing with God. We must all firstly remember that without Jesus, our past heritage is alien and hateful towards God, whether or not we have been raised in a Christian family, we have all been guilty of falling in love with the world, it’s lusts and deceptions. God knows what background and heritage we are born into, and what we are going to CHOOSE to do with the life He has given us. Ephesians 2:11-14.  We have all been infected by sin’s disease of spiritual idolatry, deliberately choosing to worship ourselves instead of The Creator. Secondly we must accept that our sinful behavior is certainly due to our own personal choices, and not solely affected by our nature or how we were nurtured. Yes, our nature and the way we were nurtured does indeed affect they way we make choices, but regardless of all of these factors, it is only me that makes my chnoice to do right or wrong, Psalm 51:2-3. When our heart possesses  humility in accepting these truths, then  and only then are we able to approach God and say sorry, Psa. 51:10-12, Mt. 5:3-4 & James 4:6-10. We should pray that God will grant repentance, 2Tim. 2:25.Young David had a heart that searched for God, 1Sam. 13:14, but his heart often strayed and was fed with lusts and pride. Thankfully, David had the kind of erring heart that was able to trust in a God that was merciful and he believed would cut away the evil within his heart to heal it, Dt. 10:16, 30:6,  Jer. 4:4.  Although David paid dearly for his sins, his forgiveness was expressed in his lifestyle and psalms, to be publicized and praised for generations, Acts 13:22. May the Lord raise up many Nathans” (2Sam. 12:7) in our own personal life to point out what exactly we are fooling ourselves about, in order to wake us up to our own delusions and help us admit our need for God’s gracious gift of repentance.

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