Daily D – Psalm 51:10
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
A friend of mine is hosting a golf tournament on Monday and has asked me to play on his team. Fortunately for the team, he also asked a couple of other guys who play regularly and are better than average players to join us.
This is no humble consideration of my abilities. This is the reality of not playing for a year and a half due to neck surgery. The best part of the day for me will be hanging out with good friends who share common values and similar life stories.
Golf tournaments like this one allow teams to purchase mulligans. Just in case you are unfamiliar with mulligans, other sports and activities call this idea a do-over. When you have not swung a club on a regular basis with expert instruction, it is quite likely that sooner rather than later you are going to say something like, “Oops.”
A mulligan is an effort to overcome an Oops. It is a do-over. It is a fresh start. This is what King David is asking for in this powerful chapter of confession and repentance. He has sinned great sin. He has done great harm to others, to his nation, and to himself. His actions no doubt made some people question the reality of his faith.
David asks God for a mulligan, a do-over. He did not ask for a chance to take another shot at it. He asked instead for a complete fresh start, to go back to the beginning. Read the verse above again.
Now consider the way The Message paraphrases this verse.
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
One of the most beautiful truths of the Bible is how God picks us up when we fall down. He gives us grace to begin again. This does not ignore the seriousness of our rebellion. This does not erase the consequences of our behavior. This does empower us to seek forgiveness and reconciliation, and to make restitution where possible.
As famous as King David’s sin is King David’s repentance. This psalm along with Psalm 32 teaches us how to talk to our Father in heaven when we really blow it. This is more than talk, to be sure. This is heartfelt confession. This is life redirection.
Remember how Genesis 1:1, 2 begin describing the creation:
If you feel formless and empty because of your faithless and hurtful behavior, know that God our Father delights in reshaping our lives, in creating pure hearts and steadfast spirits in us.
We may be faithless. He is forever faithful. He is also just. Remember 1 John 1:9:
He who is forever faithful and always just forgives our sins and purifies our souls.
What kind of do-over do you need today? Go to God. Use King David’s prayers to shape your own. Do the right next thing leading to reconciliation and restitution as far as that is possible.
I will go to God with all of my sin.
Our Father, thank you for a fresh start. Thank you for the opportunity to begin again. Thank you for forgiving our sin and purifying our lives. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.
Psalm 52:8, 9 ”But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God; I trust in God’s faithful love forever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done. In the presence of your faithful people, I will put my hope in your name, for it is good.“