“Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”
King James Version
“Why God Loved David” Part III
“Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee!
Let the water and the blood
From Thy riv’n side which flowed
Be of sin the double cure.
Cleanse me from its guilt and power.”
Augustus Montague Toplady
What mistakes in my life do I feel guilty for?
Have I asked for my Father’s total and complete cleansing?
“O Christ, the ocean of our forgiveness, allow me to wash off in You the dirt I am clothed in so that I may become resplendent in the raiment of Your holy light.”
“Long my heart has sighed for Thee;
long has evil reigned within;
Jesus sweetly speaks to me,
‘I will cleanse you from all sin!’”
Nathan confronted David about his sin. And it didn’t take long before the enormous hurt David had caused began to sink in. Not only did David understand how he had inflicted pain upon his own life, but he also began to comprehend the devastating toll his evil behavior had taken on his family including Bathsheba, and their newborn child as well as David’s other children.
As David grasped the reality of what he had done, he turned toward the only person he knew who could fix the mess he was in – and it wasn’t the mighty men and advisors who filled his earthly palace. Instead, David turned his face upward to his heavenly Father, the one person whose tender mercies were unfailing. The one person who had promised David that He could and would cleanse him. We find in Psalm 51: 2, that after David called on his Father to have mercy on him, he then asked his Father to “cleanse” him, or as the Hebrew notes: to lay bare or to “extirpate,” the sin in his life. I will admit I did not know what the word “extirpate” meant. So I went to the dictionary and here’s what I found out. The word “extirpate” comes from the Latin and it means to pull out by the roots, to destroy, to exterminate, to remove surgically.
Let me tell you, this gives a whole new meaning to this passage of Scripture found in Psalm 51:2. First, we find that David turned to the only person he knew who wouldn’t reject him eternally for his sinful behavior – he went to his Father in heaven. And as we found out yesterday, the reason God loved and accepted David was very simple – David was God’s child. And kind and gracious fathers don’t just love their kids when they do everything perfectly. Long-suffering fathers love unconditionally and David understood this fact about his Father in heaven.
But then, without hesitation, David turned to his Father and asked him to do what he – David – could not do for himself. David asked God to cleanse him – to lay bare his heart. To get to the root of his sin and weed it out. In fact, David asked God to exterminate the evil that was growing inside him.
For those of you who have not gardened in areas where the scattered seeds of weeds have been left in uncultivated areas, let me tell you, you’re in for a big surprise! Untended fields are a joy for little “weedlets.” My friend Mary was telling me about the acreage she and her husband Don own a few miles from my home. Her husband spends hours upon back bending hours, especially after monsoon rains, pulling out weeds that have taken root under and around the gravel rock which covers a great portion of their property. The work is tiring and tedious.
This is why our text for today in Psalm 51: 2 takes on such a visual meaning when we find David going to his heavenly “Dad” and literally inviting Him to pull out by the roots the sin that has taken hold in his life. And then, if necessary, David uses such a strong form of the word “cleanse” in the Hebrew as to mean God can surgically cut out the evil in him.
I ask you, doesn’t this fact alone, David’s willingness to have God take every drastic action necessary to remove the sinfulness within his heart, give you a new view of the man God saw when He looked at David?
First, God looked at David as His child – and He loved His son even though David was flawed beyond belief.
But second, God loved David because of his complete willingness to lay bare his heart. David didn’t play games with God and try to whitewash his behavior. Just the opposite! He told God to remove, by the roots, every weed in his life and if it were needed, even if it was painful, David said to God, “Get out Your scalpel and cut out the sin because I don’t want any part of anything left in my life which could separate me from You again.”
Is it any wonder that God loved David so much?
“Oppressed with sin and woe,
A burdened heart I bear;
Opposed by many a mighty foe,
Yet I will not despair.
With this polluted heart,
I dare to come to thee –
Holy and mighty as thou art –
For thou wilt pardon me.
I feel that I am weak,
And prone to every sin;
But thou, who giv’st to those who seek,
Wilt give me strength within.
I need not fear my foes;
I need not yield to care;
I need not sink beneath my woes,
For thou wilt answer prayer.
In my Redeemer’s name,
I give myself to thee;
And, all unworthy as I am,
My God will cherish me.”
“O Lord, the house of my soul is narrow; enlarge it, that You may enter in. It is ruinous, O repair it! It displeases Your sight; I confess it, I know. But who shall cleanse it, to whom shall I cry but to You? Cleanse me from my secret faults, O Lord, and spare Your servant from strange sins.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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