May 07 2023
Today, Sunday May 07
“Create In Me A Clean Heart…”
“Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 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 by Your generous Spirit.”
Psalm 51 is King David’s public confession of his sin! Instead of blaming others or making excuses, David knew the real problem was in his own heart! I’ll never forget years ago hearing Dr. Adrian Rogers make the statement; “Mankind only really faces two major problems, sin and death”. First let me remind us that, thank God, Jesus Christ has already dealt with both of them for every human being! He took our sin upon Himself and paid the penalty for it on the cross with His own death.
David knew it was his own heart that needed be made right with God, and that is why after he prayed in the first verses of this chapter (vv. 1-7), to be “washed and cleansed from his sin”, in verses 8-12, he prayed and asked that the Lord would “create in him a clean heart and renew a right spirit within him.” He desperately needed the Lord to heal his “broken spirit” and to make him willing to obey the Lord (v. 12).
I realize today as we look at this passage that we are living in a country that has a major problem with “sinful hearts and broken spirits”. In Matthew 24:12-44, Jesus said these words about the last days just before His coming: “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (v. 12)… “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (vv.37-39).
Genesis 6:5-13 tells us what it was like in the days of Noah: “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (v. 5)… “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth” (vv.11-12).
We had another mass shooting yesterday and the media and politicians, and even some so-called preachers, will blame everything on the wrong things! My friend, it is not a gun, race, or hate problem. It is a “heart” problem! The Old King James Version says it this way: “…that every imagination of their hearts was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5). Jesus said in Mark 7:20-23: “…That which cometh out of the man, that defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
Until we learn to deal with the right issue it will only get worse. (2 Timothy 3:1-13). David's sins had affected his whole person: his eyes (v. 3), his mind (v. 6), his ears and bones (v. 8; see 32:3-4; 35:9-10; 38:8), his heart and spirit (v. 10), his hands (v. 14), and his lips (vv. 13-15). Such is the high cost of committing sin. David knew this, so he asked for more than cleansing, as important as that is; he wanted his entire being to be restored so he could serve the Lord acceptably. He wanted the joy of the Lord within him (see v. 12), and the face of the Lord smiling upon him (10:1; 44:24; 88:14; 104:29). "Joy and gladness" is a Hebrew phrase meaning "deep joy."
David asked the Lord to create a new heart within him and to give him a steadfast spirit that would not vacillate. Verse 10 is the central verse of Psalm 51, and it expresses the heart of David's concern. David knew that the inner person—the heart—was the source of his trouble as well as the seat of his joy and blessing, and he was incapable of changing his own heart. Only God could work the miracle (Jer. 24:7; Ezek. 11:19; 36:25-27).
Today the Spirit abides with believers forever (John 14:15-18), but God's children can lose His effective ministry by grieving the Spirit (Eph. 4:30-32), lying to Him (Acts 5:1-3), and quenching Him by deliberate disobedience (1 Thess. 5:19). The phrase "willing spirit" in verse 12 refers to David's own spirit, as in verse 10. A "willing spirit" is one that is not in bondage but is free and yielded to the Spirit of God, who ministers to and through our own spirit (Rom. 8:14-17).
It isn't enough simply to confess sin and experience God's cleansing; we must also let Him renew us within so that we will conquer sin and not succumb to temptation.