Have you ever had to ask someone to forgive you? Was it hard to do?
The Bible is full of stories of King David. David was a good king, who loved God very much and, unlike many of the other kings, he never stopped worshiping God. He never worshiped a fake god or made an idol. The Bible says that he was a “man after God’s own heart.”
But, just like you and me, David sinned. Earlier this year we read about a time when David committed some very terrible sins. He stole his friend’s wife and then killed his friend. These sins are called adultery and murder, and they violate God’s law, the Ten Commandments.
David could have been put to death for these sins. But God is merciful and forgiving. He forgave David and allowed him to not only live, but God allowed him to continue to be king. God had promised David that his family would always be kings, and even when we sin, God will always keep his promise to us.
Here is one of the psalms that David wrote when he sinned. It is a beautiful psalm asking God for forgiveness and cleansing. Listen to it carefully. Can hear David asking for forgiveness?
Psalm 51:1-12. Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
What did you hear David ask for from God (v.2,7-10)? What is he afraid of losing (v.11-12)?
David asks God to remove his sin. He asks God to wash him from guilt. He wants God to give him a new clean heart. And he’s afraid of losing the presence of God, and the Holy Spirit.
You see, David lived BEFORE Jesus. Jesus hadn’t come to earth yet and died for all our sins. Jesus hadn’t removed all our guilt yet by his death on the cross. Jesus hadn’t come to live inside the hearts of all who believed in him yet. In David’s time, God might give someone the Holy Spirit for a little while, but then the Holy Spirit might leave, especially if the person sinned. In David’s time people would sacrifice animals to God to cover up their sins, but this didn’t actually change a person’s heart and make them want to love and obey God more. And that’s what David really, really wanted – a “clean” heart that really loved God and wanted to obey him.
But you and I live AFTER Jesus. Jesus has died for all our sins. Jesus has “blotted out all of our transgressions,” and “cleansed us from all of our sins.” Jesus has “made us whiter than snow” on the inside. Jesus has “created in us a clean heart.” And Jesus will never, ever, ever “take away the Holy Spirit from us.” Not if we have trusted in Jesus alone to save us. When we have Jesus, we have all of God and no more sin. Do you believe this?
Because of Jesus We have all of God and all our sins are forgiven.
With Jesus we can forgive others as we have been forgiven.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Here’s a fun song about forgiveness to listen to together.
Because of you I am forgiven and God is with me. Thank you for giving me a clean heart that loves you.
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