Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there. Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.” Psalms 51:1-14 NLT
David, the king of Israel had fallen into the sin of adultery with a woman named Bathsheba. Bathsheba was married to a Hittite man named Uriah. Uriah was a Gentile that, apparently, lived among the people of Israel. The Hittite people once ruled the area of Syria and Turkey and were a very prominent people during the 15th and 16th century B.C. they battled the Babylonians and the Egyptians for territory. Uriah was one of their descendants. Being a part of the Israeli army seems to indicate that he had submitted himself to the worship of Jehovah. He was a faithful warrior in the army of Israel. The story of this saga is located in 2 Samuel 11 and 12. David, while his troops were in the field, had taken a stroll on the palace roof when he spotted a very beautiful woman taking a bath. Bathsheba was her name and she was Uriah's wife. David was smitten with her beauty and ordered someone to find out who she was and then he had her brought to him. He had sexual relations with her and sent her home. When she realized she was pregnant, she sent Word to David. David sent word to Joab, his military commander, and instructed him to send Uriah to him. When Uriah arrived, David acted as if he was asking about the war and how things were going. Then he told Uriah to go home and relax. He wanted Uriah to go home to his wife, knowing that there would be a very strong probability that he would have sexual relations with his wife. This would, in all purposes and intent, hopefully cover up the adultery by placing Uriah as the baby's father. Uriah was too dedicated to his country and duty to take leave while the ark of God was in a tent and his fellow soldiers were in battle. His honorable character made him sleep at the palace entrance along with the palace guard. When David heard this, he was upset and anxious. His plan was thwarted and he had to come up with a plan B. That evening, David had Uriah join him for the meal. There, he got Uriah drunk, hoping he'd stumble on home to his wife. Again, Uriah didn't go home. He slept at the palace entrance with the guards. David was now furious. Uriah was more honorable drunk than David was sober. David's sin had taken him further than he wanted to go. He then sent Uriah back out to the battle with orders for Joab. Uriah kept the orders unopened and delivered them to Joab. Without even knowing it, he was delivering his own death sentence. He had done nothing wrong but was about to die for king David's adultery. Joab was instructed by David to place Uriah on the front line of the battle and for his men to pull back as they neared the city walls, insuring Uriah's certain death. What a sad story! An innocent and faithful man died because of a guilty man's sin (sounds exactly like what Jesus did for us). Sin had taken David farther than he ever intended to go, made him stay longer than he wanted to stay, and made him pay more than he ever imagined. That is what sin does to all of us. In Psalm 51, David was repenting after he was confronted by Nathan the prophet. David could not hide any longer. His sin had caught up to him and he knew that things would never be the same. He knew that his only hope was in God. Forgiveness waited him in the place of repentance. Consequences still followed, but reconciliation to God had occurred, restoration of right fellowship was known, and revival of spirit had returned. Today, no matter what you've done, repent and turn to God. He can pick up all the pieces and put you back together again. Good news: David finished well
(see Acts 13:36).
Rev. Curtis Norris