July 03

Read Psalms 46 -- 51

In Today's Reading:

The psalmist's confidence and praise; deception of worldly wealth; a prayer for mercy and forgiveness.

Verses for Today:

David prayed: Have mercy upon me, O God. . . . I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. . . . Create in me a clean heart . . . and renew a right spirit within me. . . . Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee (51:1,3,10,13).

We read that, on one occasion, David's delight was not in the Law of the Lord (Psalms 1:2), but in the beautiful Bathsheba. The result of his sin was personal shame and suffering for the rest of his life, as well as many tragic personal and national consequences. The Holy Spirit inspired David to record his own cry of sorrow and repentance. Under the Law, he deserved to die and he knew it. He cast himself on the mercy of God as a brokenhearted sinner and prayed fervently: Have mercy upon me, O God. . . . Create in me a clean heart (51:1,10).

David's prayer for mercy occurred after 20 years of continuous success, at a time when he chose to relax at home and let others fight his wars. It was then that he yielded to lust, which led to adultery with Bathsheba. She was the beautiful wife of David's neighbor Uriah the Hittite, one of his most loyal soldiers. Through a deceptive military maneuver initiated by David, Uriah was killed, allowing David to legally marry the pregnant Bathsheba. It appeared to be a happy ending for David and Bathsheba until Nathan, the fearless prophet of God, appeared and denounced the king's selfish, wicked sins, saying: [You have] killed Uriah the Hittite, and [have] taken his wife to be [your] wife, and [have] slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon (2 Samuel 12:9). The Law did not permit a sacrifice or forgiveness for either adultery or murder. The guilty party of either was sentenced to die (Leviticus 20:10; Numbers 35:31; Genesis 9:6).

We wish that this one horrible blight upon David's life had not happened. However, it was recorded to reveal, among other things, the false security of success and the deception of lust. It also holds out hope to the sinner who truly repents by showing that he can experience the mercy and forgiving love of God. It also teaches the inescapable consequences of sin. As a result of his sins, David reaped untold sorrow during the remaining 20 years of his reign, just as the prophet Nathan said: The sword shall never depart from [your] house; because [you have] despised Me. . . . Behold, I will raise up evil against [you]. . . . Because . . . [you have] given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born [to you] shall surely die (2 Samuel 12:10-11).

The first step in repentance is the recognition of the awfulness of our sin, for godly sorrow [works] repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). Repentance not only leads to confession but to turning from and forsaking sin.

David's genuine repentance and confession were essential to fulfill the next portion of his prayer: Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation (Psalms 51:12). With his restoration to a right relationship with God came a renewed desire to share the Good News of God's forgiving love. By inspiration of God, David wrote: For Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Thee (Psalms 86:5).

Christ Revealed:

As the One Who will judge His people (Psalms 50:4). The Lord Jesus Christ . . . shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at His appearing (2 Timothy 4:1).

Word Studies:

46:6 heathen raged = nations were in turmoil; 48:11 Daughters of Judah = its cities and villages; 49:9 see corruption = experience death; 50:23 conversation = daily conduct; 51:4 clear = pure, blameless.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for the missionary ministries · Country: Lithuania (4 million) eastern coast of Baltic Sea in northeastern Europe · Major languages: Lithuanian and Russian · Limited religious freedom · 80% Roman Catholic; 5% Russian Orthodox; 1% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray in faith and the Lord will answer (Mark 11:24).

Optional Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 1:16