2018-08-30 - Heart Creation
Originally Published 2001-11-08
Ps 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. (NAS)
King David is known as a man after God's own heart. His Psalms, or songs, are some of the most well-known, most quoted lines in the world. David was the chosen King of Israel, chosen by God and anointed by His prophet. He knew amazing victories over Goliath and the enemies of God's chosen people. He knew humbling defeat - slobbering and raving like a madman in fear of his life in an enemy land.
The story of David and Bathsheba is one that is the stuff of movies, poems and a fountain of seeming opposites. David and Bathsheba committed the sin of adultery, tried to cover up their fall so far that David committed murder in having her husband left in battle to be slain by the enemy. Her husband, Uriah, was one of David's most loyal and trusted men. David gave Uriah the sealed, written orders to the General that instructed the General to strand Uriah in the heat of the fight knowing that Uriah would never consider opening them.
After David takes Bathsheba as his wife, he is confronted by Nathan the Prophet who informs David that while he has hidden his sin from man, that God knows. Nathan informs David that the child that Bathsheba carries will not live. David's heart breaks as he realizes his sin before His Lord Who has given him so very much. Out of his grief comes this psalm pleading for forgiveness, and to be made right before God again.
The word create in the Hebrew is bara, which is the same word used in Genesis chapter one. God creates the heavens and the earth by the sheer power of His will. With a word - single thought, out of absolutely nothing, the universe is formed because He willed it to happen. David's request for God to create a clean heart in him is an acknowledgement of several things. First, that David had sinned and his heart was the source of that failure. Next, that his heart was beyond repair and needed to be replaced. Finally, that there was nothing clean in him to make the new heart that would be a pure replacement. David's plea is for God to create a new, pure heart for His fallen creation by the power of God's will out of nothing.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. (KJV)
David's thoughts mirror Paul's centuries later. And if we are brutally honest with ourselves today, we have to agree that we are a total wreck left to ourselves. But the same mercy and grace that David and Paul both knew is still available to us from Jesus Christ. To David, He was the awaited Messiah. To Paul and those of us who know Jesus, He is risen Lord and Savior. In Jesus' sinless life we have victory over the power of sin that David and Paul understood so well. In Jesus' victory over the grave, we have eternal life in Him. When we understand this, we know the forgiveness that says there is no longer any condemnation to those who will acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Ezek 11:17-20 "Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD," I shall gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries among which you have been scattered, and I shall give you the land of Israel. "' 18 "When they come there, they will remove all its detestable things and all its abominations from it. 19 "And I shall give them one heart, and shall put a new spirit within them. And I shall take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances, and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God. (NAS)
If God will answer this prayer for His chosen people Israel, how much more will He do the same for the bride of Christ?
Lord Jesus - hear the heartfelt longings of Your creation as we struggle with our frail wills and selfish desires. We stand broken before You, wanting to do better but are unable to do so without Your heart replacing ours. We long for the day when we will be freed from these mortal bodies, and yet struggle to stay a little while longer for those around us. Give us hearts to tell them about You. Amen.
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.