Thursday, October 20, 2016
The 51st Psalm is about sin. Oh, there are other themes which might be put before this one and most folks would make such a choice because no one really wants to talk about, confess, or deal with sin. As far as the secular culture around us is concerned, sin does not exist. Unfortunately, some sacred communities seem to agree. However, sin is what prompted David to pray this prayer. We know David's sin. Actually, what started out as lust snowballed into a list of sins that must have delighted the Devil. What started out as a sin experienced in the inner chamber of the heart led to taking the life of a soldier whose loyalty to David could not be compromised.
Sin can be a blatant as breaking all of the Ten Commandments or as subtle as spiritual entitlement. David was, perhaps, guilty of both. Of course, if such was the case, he is not alone. We have all done things which we knew beforehand would be displeasing to God, but still it was full steam ahead. Blatant sin is something we understand. And, of course, it is also true that we often live as if we are entitled to a kind of favor from God which makes us "the exception to the rule," or the one whose spiritual life merits better circumstances than those in which we find ourselves. Have we never told God that we deserve better than what He was giving or providing? Have we never felt that our sacrificial service to God at least merited a thank you, or some special recognition? Spiritual entitlement may be not be as obvious to us, but probing the heart will no doubt bring us to a place of confessing this as well.
Regardless of how we do it, or define it, sin is a terrible thing. David fully understood this truth. He knew his only hope for forgiveness was mercy. He greatly feared the consequences of his sin. Sin always has them and what David feared most of all was being cast away from the presence of God and being forsaken by the Holy Spirit. No matter what some say nothing has changed through the centuries. Sin still separates us from God and mercy is our only hope.