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Bible Pathways - July 3, 2006

Psalms 46

In Today's Reading:

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

David disregarded the Word of God when he lusted after the beautiful wife of his neighbor, Uriah the Hittite, one of his most loyal soldiers. While Uriah was at war, David committed adultery with Uriah's wife. Through a planned 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 and wicked sins. Nathan asked, Why did you despise the Word of God by killing Uriah the Hittite with the sword and then taking his wife to be your wife? (II Samuel 12:9). Both acts were forbidden under the Law. He deserved to die and he knew it (Exodus 20:13; Leviticus 20:10). He cast himself on the mercy of God as a brokenhearted sinner and he humbly prayed: Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness. . . . cleanse me from my sin. . . . Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me (Psalm 51:1-2,10).

The Holy Spirit inspired David to record his own cry of sorrow and repentance. God is merciful to all repentant sinners. In answer to David's sincere prayers, God forgave him. But 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.

We wish that this blight upon David's life had not happened. But it was recorded, not only to reveal the deception and never-ending devastation of lust, but to let us know that God forgives our sins when we repent and pray as David did. This holds out hope to the sinner who truly repents that he can experience the mercy and forgiving love of God. It also teaches the inescapable consequences of sin. David's prayer for mercy is a prayer for release from the presence and power of sin. He prayed: Blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin (51:1-2). To blot out illustrates the way a debt would be erased or forgiven. Wash me . . . cleanse me illustrates the same way that dirty clothes would be washed.

If we walk in the light, as He is in the light . . . the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin (I John 1:7).

Christ Revealed:

As the One who will judge His people (Psalm 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 =b> nations were in turmoil; 48:11 daughters of Judah =b> its cities and villages as opposed to Jerusalem, the major city; 49:9 see corruption =b> experience death; 50:23 conversation =b> daily conduct; 51:4 clear =b> pure, blameless.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Rick Hash · Staff: Dr. John A. Hash · Government Official: Sen. Lamar Alexander (TN) · Country: Brunei (400,000) on the northern coast of Borneo Major languages: Malay and English Limited religious freedom 66% Muslim; 19% Chinese religions; 6% animist; 4% Protestant; 4% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to write His precepts in your heart (Colossians 3:16).

Optional Reading: I Thessalonians 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 23:1-2

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