This morning, we continue in our Daily Devotions looking at the life of David and his acts of devotion. Unfortunately, we find David’s devotion this morning is not directed at God but at someone else’s wife – Bathsheba. One of the things I notice about this particular failure in David’s life is that it was not sudden. David, it would appear, always had a weakness when it came to the opposite sex which he never dealt with. Not only that, but on this occasion he should have been leading his armies on the battlefield instead of giving in to temptation in the bedroom. This encounter was avoidable had David dealt with his weakness earlier, made himself accountable and been doing what God had called him to. In other words, when we are not practicing devotion to God we are vulnerable.
When David realises that Bathsheba is pregnant he goes to extraordinary lengths to cover up his sin which includes all sorts of lies and schemes. So much for the man who is supposed to be ‘after God’s own heart’.
But, when David is confronted by the Prophet Nathan, things begin the change.
“Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
In Psalm 51 David expands on the feelings behind this repentance:
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.
The thing I notice about this prayer of repentance is that there is no blame shifting, watering down of the sin or excuses. It is raw, honest and open repentance – David throws himself totally upon God’s mercy.
Friends, we live by grace and not works. All of us are totally reliant upon the mercy of God. We are all guilty of sin but we are all candidates for God’s unconditional love and AMAZING GRACE. Repentance, on a daily basis, is an ACT OF DEVOTION in itself and we know that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from ALL sin, even adultery and murder.