This post is a continuation of Part 1, in which we looked at how similar our circumstances and problems are to those of King David when chose sexual sin in Psalm 51. Yet we also discovered we can learn from him in our process of repentance and recovery too. If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, you should start there.
Now, we continue on through sections of Psalm 51 to finish and see the joy and restoration of complete repentance…
Know That God Offers What We Want (vs. 8-12)
“Let me hear joy and gladness;
Let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
…Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a right spirit within me.
…Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
And uphold me with a willing spirit.”
David’s words here are hard to misunderstand. He wants to rejoice!
The very fact that David is asking for joy means that he doesn’t have it. His grief over his sin chased away all comfort that he normally has with God.
We have this problem with our sin. God and the Bible lose their excitement and relevance to helping us. We know that God’s Word is true and that salvation is critical to our lives, but we barely use it to help ourselves.
David makes the following points:
- We can be released from guilt (v8). God is the one who condemns, just as if he broke our bones; thus God is the only one who can un-condemn. Read Romans 8:1!
- An attribute of God is that He is Creator. This means that He can create a clean heart out of nothing when one doesn’t exist initially (v10). Read Ephesians 2:5. Logically, if God could create a clean heart, He can absolutely revive one!
- We can have joy (v12a). This means that we will find the heart motivation to stop sinning and love the alternate, God. We will stop being afraid that we will sin again within a couple days, and start feeling refreshed and able to take on every other sin in our lives!
- We can sustain all of this victory because God is the one sustaining (v12b). David shows us that it is possible to reach a state of mind that is confident God will come through.
Through this verse we learn that we too can ask for delight — real pleasure — from God’s salvation! We can only have a willing spirit if God gives it to us.
The best part is that God says He will give it to us and will love doing it (verse 6)!
Sharing Once We Know It Worked (vs. 13-16)
In verses 13-16, David expresses his newfound joy. He does this by sharing it with others. David can now convince others of his faith without feeling like a lying salesman who hasn’t tried his own product.
Like David, we can get to a point where we are so confident we are overcoming our habitual sin that we know it can help others.
This is what Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 is talking about. God has allowed us to suffer in this life in order to suffer with others.
With Jesus, we can now identify with another’s pain, communicate that we understand and then turn and walk towards Christ together.
This type of love is not easy. It may mean months of encouraging someone who never seems to understand.
Just remember, that God isn’t just pleased with the results, he is pleased with every conversation, every prayer, every second spent to love that person struggling with the same things as you.
Genuine Repentance (vs. 16-19)
At first, this passage seems out of place when you try to add verses 18 and 19 to the first two. Why would David add them if 16 and 17 pack enough heat on their own?
Jumping into David’s thought world, in Exodus, the Israelites were able to sacrifice animals in order to be forgiven. God saw their sin and His justice necessitated penance in the form of animal blood.
Of course, today we know that these rituals foreshadowed Christ’s sacrifice, but most Israelites probably didn’t know this. They thought that they had to act in a specific way in order to be right and pure.
But David knows better.
He knows that if his people offer a sacrifice for sin that they still love, the sacrifice doesn’t do anything.
It is the heart desperate to do anything possible to repay its debt, the eyes weeping with sorrow, the voice begging for forgiveness, that has any value with God. These things won’t earn God’s forgiveness; however, because God loves without conditions. What they do, though, is prove that one has a new life filled with the Holy Spirit. This is the beautiful connection between God’s objective forgiveness of our sins and our subjective hatred of them.
Now we come to verses 18 and 19. There is a truth here that David wants to share. If all we have to do is focus on our internal state, David would stop with verse 17. David doesn’t.
He goes on to sing of how sacrifices can be offered. If God is good to sinners, then good sacrifices will be offered.
I believe that David is trying to explain how we can live a life of outward obedience once we are inwardly repentant.
We sometimes get super excited about outwardly pleasing God, but quickly lose that excitement because inwardly we failed to lay a foundation.
Its easy to do good acts without truly changing. Truly changing means just that: changing. This is really hard sometimes.
For example, it may be exciting to impress a friend that you can have a smartphone without looking at porn for 30 days straight. In reality, you haven’t changed because all you’re doing is putting sexual fulfillment on hold as you get praised for an accomplishment.
Let us truly change in order to offer right sacrifices for God!
Recap What We’ve Learned From David’s Sexual Sin And Repentance
In conclusion, David takes us on a complete path that will redeem our purity if we walk it with him. David’s example teaches us about the following things:
- God’s identity.
- Our identity.
- The joy that obliterates temptation.
- The hope that fuels motivation.
- The radically-deep transformation of genuine repentance.
The following are good resources that can complement your inward repentance:
A retreat center like Faithful and True Ministries.
Internet accountability like Covenant Eyes.
Books such as Every Man’s Battle.