Thursday, July 16, 2009

David's WHY - The PURPOSE of Being Reconciled to God

I’m reading through the Bible chronologically in 2009. And I’m WAY behind, which is why part of what I read today was Psalm 51. This is a very well-known Psalm because it is David’s famous lament after his devastating and life-altering sins with Bathsheba (adultery) and Uriah (murder). Sins which, of course, he was forced to acknowledge because his buddy, the prophet Nathan (woop woop!), fearlessly called him out on them.

I have always loved verses 10 through 12 of Psalm 51. There’s a beautiful chorus that is sung with these words as the lyrics. To me, they are some of the most beautiful words of repentance and reconciliation in all of Scripture:

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from your presence,
and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in me a willing spirit.

Today, as always, the beauty of those words kind of overwhelmed me. But I also noticed something that I have never noticed before as I read the next three verses…

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodshed, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.

What I noticed was this: The PURPOSE for the repentance and reconciliation in 10-12 – the REASON for the clean heart, the new and right spirit, the remaining of the Holy Spirit with David … what is it?

It’s not just David’s personal reconciliation to his Lord, it’s much more! It’s EVANGELISM, WORSHIP, and PRAISE.

It’s not just about David dodging a bullet (or more like a missile, actually). It’s the spreading of the word and the sharing of this shameful story of sin that’s been turned into a beautiful story of God’s AMAZING GRACE.

It’s not about David being able to sit back on his royal couch (from whence all of this trouble started, by the way) and say “Whew! That was close!” It’s all about making God’s name and love and grace and power known to EVERYBODY.

David’s life is spared so that he can then go and TEACH and sing aloud of God’s deliverance. Motivated by GRATITUDE, David says to God “Just give me the chance and I will praise You in front of the whole world”. David is spared so that “[other] sinners will [also] return to [God]”.

You see what I’m getting at here? It is here, as always, about OTHER PEOPLE. There is no such thing as Lone Ranger spirituality, at least not as far as the Bible is concerned. I don’t care what our western, individualistic society tells you – remember this: It’s NEVER just about “me and God”. Never.

David is spared, redeemed, restored, and sent out for a purpose. So are you, and so am I.

Being reconciled to God has a purpose far beyond just feeling better and knowing we're forgiven as individuals. That purpose is this: that we share our stories, sing His praises, and play our role in helping other sinners (like us) be restored to right relationship with God, too.

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