Yesterday we looked at first part of David’s prayer after his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah. David was a man after God’s own heart because of his great character, but even he was vulnerable to the harmful effects of sin. Sin is serious and has devastating consequences. A couple of the consequences of David’s sin included the death of his son and the death of one of his friends who he murdered. It all started with something as small as laziness as David chose not to go to war with his army and it ended in adultery, murder, and the death of an innocent child. God takes sin seriously but he is merciful, and abounding in steadfast love. In his prayer, in Psalm 51 David leans on the mercy and grace of God to give him hope in light of his circumstance.
Restoration is Costly
Read Psalm 51:7-12
After David remembers God’s character (Psalm 51:1-2) and confesses his sin to God (Psalm 51:3-6) he prays for restoration. One of the most neglected verses of Psalm 51 is verse 7. What in the world is hyssop? Understanding what hyssop is key to understanding the cost of restoration. If you understand anything about the Old Testament you know that in order for the people to forgiven of their sin, they had to sacrifice an animal. Hyssop is a small plant that is shaped like a brush. When a priest would sacrifice an animal for the sins of a person he would take the hyssop plant and use it to either brush or sprinkle the blood of the animal being sacrificed over itself in order to cover it. It is important to note that David asked God to purge him with hyssop because David understands his inability to wipe away the guilt of his sin. So he is asking God to cover his sin by placing the penalty of his sin on something else. We briefly mentioned this yesterday but in Exodus 34:7 we see that “…God will by no means clear the guilty…” David knows that God can’t just pass over his sin so he asks God to take the penalty of his sin and place on someone or something else.
Ultimately, the penalty of all sin was placed on Jesus through his crucifixion. Sin is serious and restoration from sin is costly. God cannot just overlook our sin. But God loved us so much that he places the penalty of our sin on his one and only Son, Jesus Christ. David is showing that he trusts that God can save him. He also recognizes that if the penalty of his sin is placed on someone or something else, then he is made pure and restored back into fellowship with God. Restoration is costly and in David’s prayer for restoration, here are 5 things that we learn about the necessity and cost of restoration when we sin.
- Sin crushes us and destroys our joy. In verse 8 David begs God to let him hear joy and gladness. Remember from yesterday that sin disrupts our fellowship with God and it affects every part of us. David is crushed by the weight of his sin so he begs God to lift the weight and restore his joy.
- Sin brings with it shame. We NEED restoration because without it we are stuck in the shame of our sin. This is why David prays in verse 8 for God to hide his face from his sin and to get rid of his guilt. God didn’t create us to walk in shame. Confessing our sin may make us feel shame, but it is the first step to allowing God to take our shame from us.
- Sin destroys our heart and our desires. The meaning of the word heart in verse 10 is ‘inner self’. And the word spirit in verse 10 means a frame of mind. Notice what David asks God to do with his heart. He says, “CREATE in me a clean heart.” He is asking for a completely new heart and a completely new way of thinking. David is literally saying, “God, give me a new heart and reshape my thinking and desires for sin.”
- Sin disrupts our fellowship with God. Does this point look familiar? We saw this same thing yesterday. In verse 11 David pleads with God not to take his presence or Spirit from him. Now, if you have surrendered your life to God, then God has given you the Holy Spirit. You can’t lose the Holy Spirit once he comes into your life. What David realizes though, is that his sin has created a wedge between him and God and he can no longer sense the Holy Spirit’s work in his life. He needs his relationship with God to be restored so that he can continue to walk in the presence of God.
- Sin destroys the joy of our salvation. Now, this is a different point than the first point. Sin doesn’t just rob us of the joy that God wants us to experience as we walk with him, it destroys the joy of walking with him. More than that, sin destroys the joy that we are supposed to experience as we think about how we’ve been saved from sin. In the moment of praying this prayer, all David can feel is guilt. It’s true that David is guilty of sin, but God saved him from the guilt of his sin which is supposed to bring him joy in the midst of that guilt. One of the problems with dwelling on the guilt of sin is that it causes us to feel banished from the presence of God, so we run from the presence of God. David ran from the presence of God but now he is asking for God to sustain him by giving him a Spirit of worship.
Worship is the Result of Restoration
Read Psalm 51:13-17
Towards the end of David’s prayer, David prays the results of restoration. The result of restoration is worship. David, knowing that God would restore him, declares that he will worship God. David has learned from his mistakes and he desires to teach people who rebel against God how to follow God. In verse 14 David declares that God is the only person that can save him from the penalty of his sin, and because of that he sings about God’s righteousness. In verses 13-15 David shows that he has a spirit of thanksgiving. Meaning that he is thankful for God’s steadfast love and abundant mercy. But even in the midst of his thankfulness, he does not forget the consequences of his sin and the grace that God has shown him. The consequences of David’s sin have broken him. We will look more at the consequences of David’s sin and God’s grace tomorrow. But for now, are you broken over your sin? If not, it may be because you don’t believe your sin really is as bad as God says it is. I challenge you today to think about the sin in your life and think about what it cost God to take the penalty of that sin away.