Bible stories of hope: David - by James Archer
Bible stories of hope is a series comprising a reading about someone's encounter with God, some notes about how they may have seen it, and a prayer.
Reading – Psalm 51:1-10
God, be merciful to me because you are loving. Because you are always ready to be merciful, wipe out all my wrongs. Wash away all my guilt and make me clean again. I know about my wrongs, and I can’t forget my sin.
You are the only one I have sinned against; I have done what you say is wrong. You are right when you speak and fair when you judge. I was brought into this world in sin. In sin my mother gave birth to me. You want me to be completely truthful, so teach me wisdom.
Take away my sin, and I will be clean. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Make me hear sounds of joy and gladness; let the bones you crushed be happy again. Turn your face from my sins and wipe out all my guilt.
Create in me a pure heart, o God, and make my spirit right again.
David – the man “after God’s own heart” – had really fouled things up. The great man of God had had an affair with a married woman and murdered her husband. Now he has realised what God thinks about it, and this is his reaction.
How do you react when you realise you have let God down, flouted his laws and made a mockery of your role as a magnet to draw people to God? Do you try to brazen it out, or do you put your hand up, say sorry and really mean it?
David really meant it. But that didn’t mean that there weren’t consequences from what he had done – his behaviour triggered civil war and the break-up of his family. He would never again be the blue-eyed boy-warrior-king that the nation looked up to.
But the most important thing for him was that his relationship with God was restored. However awful what he had done, he was within reach of God’s love. It was not because he deserved it that God loved him, but because he was a child of God, forgiven, accepted and loved.
What you have done wrong is probably trivial in the world’s eyes compared to David’s crimes, but in the eyes of God it is the same. David’s story gives each of us not just hope of forgiveness but of full restoration in God’s love when we are truly sorry.
Read the passage of scripture above again and say it as a prayer.
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