Passage of the Day: Psalm 51: 4 - 9 [see emphasis verse in bold and underlined]
1 … Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are proved right when You speak and justified when You judge. 5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. 6 Surely You desire truth in the inner parts; You teach me wisdom in the inmost place. 7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones You have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
My Journal for Today: Yesterday, with the help of John MacArthur’s devotional, I wrote that true confession of sin requires a right view of the reality of sin in our life. Today, in King David’s song of remorse and confession (i.e., Psalm 51), we see that we must also have a right view of God.
Truly, we must see, as did David [in v. 6 above], that God is holy and omniscient, … a God Who is never satisfied with mere externals, … always requiring a complete surrender of the heart.
Next, as David acknowledged (see v. 7), we must see God’s power with a firm belief that God can and will cleanse and forgive us of our sin.
And thirdly, for our ongoing healing to take place, we must see God’s correction of our sin as that of the Good Shepherd. In v. 8 above, we read the former shepherd, David, creating the word picture of a loving, Good, Shepherd. In those days a shepherd, who had a wayward lamb (i.e., one who habitually and repeatedly strayed from the flock), would care enough for the lamb to go out and find that lamb and even break its leg, carrying that hurting lamb in its brokenness back to the flock until that lamb bonded with the shepherd in the healing process. When the leg was healed, the lamb would stay as close to the shepherd as possible as well as the rest of the sheep in the flock.
Don’t you just love that latter picture, … of our Good Shepherd? Yes, we are wayward sheep, as Isaiah had described in Is. 53: 6; but the Prophet, in this verse also indicates the hope we have in the Good Shepherd, Who has taken all our waywardness upon Himself, if/when we’re willing and able to remain steadfast to Him as He does what is necessary to allow us to grow in His flock.
Finally, MacArthur helps us realize that we must see our God, as did David in v. 9 above, repeating his point from v. 7, as a forgiving Lord, willing and able to forgive our sins (see also Isaiah 43: 25). David also penned Ps. 103: 12, where it says. “… as far as the east is from the west, so far has He (God) removed our transgressions (i.e., sins) from us.”
These are remarkable and wonderful promises from an all powerful God, Who has always been, is now, and always will be our Good Shepherd, … A Shepherd Who loves us enough to do whatever it takes to shape our brokenness into closeness with Himself.
As I close out this morning’s devotional, from the material presented, I was taken back to wonderful song, by Phillips, Craig, and Dean entitled He’ll Do Whatever It Takes. I’m listening to it now as I write this as I often do during my quiet time; and if you get a chance to, I’d encourage any reader of this entry to find and hear that song [see the link below]. The chorus of this poignant and powerful song reads like this …
He’ll do whatever it takes …
His grace reaches lower than your worst mistake.
His grace will run farther than you can run away
He’ll do whatever … whatever it takes …
You can listen to this poignant and powerful song by going to this link …
Now isn’t this the loving and grace empowering God you and I need to follow as our loving Good Shepherd? This, as it finally was for King David a right view of God.
My Prayer Today: Only You, Good Shepherd, can take away my sin from the eyes of the Father. Holy Spirit, cleanse me, mold me, … remake me in my Lord’s image. Do whatever it takes. Amen