This chapter of God’s Not Done With You is for everyone who has sinned. That, of course, is all of us. The reason we sit down and talk about this subject is because it is so common to the human race, and so often we’re blinded and deceived when it comes to the solution for our acts of sin. We don’t know what to do when we’ve blown it.
This is about the choices and actions we regret. It’s about temptations we’ve fallen into and messes we’ve made. It deals with what to do when we don’t KNOW what to about our sin. If this gets your attention, I can predict how you might feel. You may think God is done with you. You may think you just messed up too big for God to help you. If you think that, you may be encouraged by what I’m about to say.
The tragic story of King David and his deep dive into sin is very, very well-known. I call this “the most infamous act of the adultery in the history of the world.” Maybe you know the story as it’s told in 2 Samuel 11 and 12. Two chapters details this sad chain of events, providing everything you need to see what sin looks like. This story also involves one of the most complicated, reluctant responses to sin. David messes this up worse after he messes it up the first time. The result is a set of circumstances beyond complication.
Here's the story in a nutshell: David called for the wife of an Israeli soldier who was at war, bedded her while her husband was on the front lines, impregnated her, and attempted to cover it up by arranging her husband’s death. David tried to hide all this, but God sent Nathan the prophet to expose his sin and make it public to all of the kingdom.
David is in free fall. No one can stop his fall, except David himself, and he can only do this by confessing his sin and repenting. David is done until this happens. God is going to put him on the shelf, until repentance takes place. It’s convicting!
Before we see the solution to all this – it’s good to pause and remind ourselves:
Sin is always a setback. Sin is never in secret. Sin is not the end.
There is a way out. Psalm 51 is that beautiful chapter where David confesses his sin to God.
Psalm 51 is when David stops hiding, stops running from God and starts running TO God. Our first response is anything but running to God – even though God has made it clear that He wants us to run TO Him. Think about Adam and Eve. Jonah. David. The prodigal son. Run TO God, not away.
You know, repentance is a subject that people talk about a great deal. I’ve seen many try to define this in various ways. There’s no doubt David needs to repent. But at the core of it, repentance is running to GOD, because when we run to God, we (by necessity) run away from sin!
So David is running to God, and what we learn in Psalm 51 is so helpful. If you’re coming back to God – or even thinking about it, remember these principles.
1. Run TO God directly. You don’t have to go through any intermediary. Run directly to God.
2. Take ownership over your sin. God doesn’t play the blame game. We think we can see a million reasons why we did something wrong, and we’re eager to blame others, but God doesn’t accept it. Take ownership. Say, “I was wrong.”
3. When you come back, trust in His mercy and forgiveness.
The Scripture gives us great hope that God will be merciful. “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation.” Psalm 51:7, 9, 12
Do you see what David recognizes in that statement? David recognizes that only God can do those things for him, so he throws himself at God’s feet. Purge me. Wash me. Hide your face from my sins. Restore me. This is how you come to God.
David’s situation was bad, but God’s mercy was great. I don’t know what you’re dealing with today, but God does – and He is able to take you on the same journey of forgiveness and restoration that David was on. Trust him to do that for you.
Thoughts from John Meador and insights from God's Word.