Wednesday, January 20, 2016


We continue with the story of King David's sin and restoration. From last blog post (Part 16), how could King David respond in worship at the death of his child? The answer is found in David's writing.
David composed Psalms 32 and Psalm 51 in connection with this sin and repentance. In these two psalms, there is a clear and important six-step pattern of repentance that opened the door of David to enjoy true worship anew. It is difficult, if not impossible, for us to enjoy true worship today until we have gone through a similar process of repentance.


A) Step 1 - Repentance Is Conviction
David wrote his confessed sin, "When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long" (Psalm 32:3). He was miserable when he tried to conceal his sin! Furthermore, he clearly sensed God's hand of conviction, pressing down on him and drying up the vitality of his life. "For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me: my vitality was turned into the drought of summer" (Psalm 32:4). Yet his awful condition was a blessing from a loving God. Fear of sin and its consequences is in fact a healthy fear. Far worse is the condition in which sin no longer bothers us. David understood that God "desires truth in the inward parts" and that, through His hand of conviction, "in the hidden part you will make me to know wisdom" (Psalm 51:6). Sin thwarts the truth, but God sent conviction brings wisdom.

B) Step 2 - Confession
"I acknowledged my sin to you," wrote David, "and my iniquity I have not hidden" (Psalm 32:5). Note that David confessed even though he realized that God already knew about his sin. By ending the cover-up, David was bringing himself into agreement with God. The same agreement is expressed in Psalm 51:3-4: "For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight."Although it is true that he had hurt others, David keenly felt that his trangression was first against God. Confession to God, therefore, is required for true repentance to occur.

C) Step 3 - A Genuine Desire To Agree With God about The Sin
David recorded that "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord" (Psalm 32:5). He did not argue with God or put forth an excuse. He recognized that God had every right to "hide [His] face from my sins" (Psalm 51:9) and that it was His prerogative to "have mercy upon me" (Psalm 51:1a). Asking for mercy was recognition that it is God alone who helps the helpless. David longed to be forgiven(Psalm 51:1b), cleansed (Psalm 51:2), and healed (Psalm 51:8) by God. He yearned for restored fellowship with Him (Psalm 51:7-12)and to be delivered from his guilt and depression (Psalm 51:14). He acknowledged that God had broken him (Psalm 51:8), This work was necessary, however, before the Lord could "create in [him] a clean heart" and "renew a steadfast spirit within [him]" (Psalm 51:10). Clearly David desired to be in agreement with God!

D) Step 4 - Such Agreement Brings Assurance
After all, agreeing with God necessarily means knowing that He really can do what He says He can do. "Purge me ... and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow" (Psalm 51:7). David was sure that happiness comes from knowing that, for those who sincerely repent, God forgives sin and gives righteousness in its place. "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord foes not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit" (Psalm 32:1-2). Beyond simply stating a general principle, David declared his assurance that God had acted in his own case, that He "forgave the iniquity of [his] sin" (Psalm 32:5). David was secure in the knowledge that God was his "hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble" (Psalm 32:7). Only a forgiven sinner can hide in God, for the unrepentant seeks instead to hide from God!

E) Step 5 - For The Repentant Sinner Is Commitment
"For this cause [the cause of forgiveness] everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found" (Psalm 32:6). Godly people actively respond to God's chastening. David's response included not only prayer, but also sharing what he had learned with others."I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go" (Psalm 32:8), he declared, resolving to "teach transgressors Your ways. He affirmed that "then sinners shall be converted to You' (Psalm 51:13). Like David, the penitent sinner is committed to being used by God for His glory.

F) Step 6 - Worship Is In The Process Of Repentance
The forgiven sinner revels in the fact that God "shall surround me with songs of deliverance" (Psalm 32:7). Those whose transgressions have been covered declare with David, "Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, you righteous: and shout for joy, all you upright in heart" (Psalm 32:11).The king did, in fact, conclude the process of repentance is not expressed by simply going through the motions of worship. A broken and contrite sinner expresses himself in worship that comes from the heart
"O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise. For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifice o God are a broken and contrite heart - these, O God, You will not despise" (Psalm 51:15-17).

Notice that David's worship was the result of God's opening his lips. His songs and praises of worship came from submission to and communion with God - and that communion resulted from a repentant heart. Jesus Himself, when He ordained our observance of the Lord's Supper, commanded that prior to worship " a man [should] examine himself, and so ... eat of the bread, and drink of the cup" (1 Corinthians 11:28). Apart from god' breaking our hearts in repentance from sin, the religious traditions that we call "worship" fail the teat of true worship. Would that we would remember the words of the prophet Samuel:
"Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,as in obeying the voice of the Lord? behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams" (1 Samuel 15:22).
(an extract from True Worship - David Whitcomb & Mark Ward, Sr.)
#TrueWorship #Repentance #Confession #Sin #Commitment #Heart

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