July 3

Read Psalms 46 -- 51

By inspiration of God, David wrote: Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly. . . . But his delight is in the Law of the Lord; and in His Law he meditates day and night (Psalms 1:1-2). However, years later we read that, on one occasion, his delight was not in the Law of the Lord, but in 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. He deserved to die and he knew it. He cast himself on the mercy of God as a brokenhearted sinner and 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 (51:1,3,10).

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 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 slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon (II 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).

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, that he can experience the mercy and forgiving love of God while teaching 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 had spoken for God: 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 (II Samuel 12:10-11,14).

The first step in repentance is the recognition of the awfulness of our sin, for godly sorrow works repentance (II Corinthians 7:10). Repentance not only leads to confession but to 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: Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee (Psalms 51:13).

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 (II Timothy 4:1).

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

Prayer:

BPM Staff: Letha Hash · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Shortwave Radio Outreach · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in memory of John and Anna Mae Correll · Country: Nicaragua (5 million) in Central America · Major languages: Spanish and English · Limited religious freedom · 95% Roman Catholic; 5% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Ask for your daily needs (Matthew 6:11).

Optional Reading: I Thessalonians 2

Memory Verse for the Week: II Corinthians 5:10-11,15