Praise and Worship: Keith Green Sings About Dealing With Sin ~ Psalm 51

The second song is based on 1 Samuel 15, however, David’s Psalm covers the message that both of them give. I have loved Create in Me A Clean Heart for many years and it’s beautiful to know that now David and Keith are in Heaven singing for the Lord. One day I’d like to join them and do that, to.

Psalm 51:10-19
“A psalm of David, regarding the time Nathan the prophet came to him after David had committed adultery with BathSheba.
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 Spiritd 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.
Unseal my lips, O Lord,
that my mouth may praise you.
You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.
You do not want a burnt offering.
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
Look with favor on Zion and help her;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit—
with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings.
Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.”

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Hidden Sins


Blooming despite the snow: Isra’el.

Sin is one of those areas that we prefer to avoid dealing with, unless something we have done wrong is staring us in the face, and has to be dealt with. One of David’s traits that I admire is his habit of asking God to show him where he is messing up. He does it with a thoroughness that puts me to shame.

“How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
Keep your servant from deliberate sins! (or presumptuous sins)
Don’t let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt
and innocent of great sin.
May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:12-14

This is one of the many times where I wish I knew far more about David than I do. In the era that David lived in, the people who had chosen to worship gods in addition to Yahweh, lived in fear of doing something to upset them. This practice goes back several thousand years before David, and as he was living around people with that deeply ingrained cultural mindset, could it have also have made him concerned with making a bad move he wasn’t aware of, and disappointing Yahweh? Or was his behaviour entirely based on the Torah? I won’t be able to find that answer, but regardless, his attitude is a valuable example for us.

The New English Translation Bible puts the wording “hidden faults” this way: “Who can know all his errors? Please do not punish me for sins I am unaware of.” Pagans, or polytheists, believed that if you were sick or going through some kind of calamity, whether it be personally, or as a tribal or city unit, you had to have angered the gods by doing something wrong. It didn’t matter if you didn’t know you were doing wrong, if you didn’t make the grade, you paid. Mankind was thought to be created to serve the gods as slaves: “Man shall be charged with the service of the gods, that they might be at ease.” Slaves dare not disobey.

David was in a covenant relationship with God and carefully followed the laws which God had set down via Moses. He would have given God a weekly burnt offering, which would have served as a constant reminder of his sinful state; plus David must have never forgotten that Saul lost his Kingship because of disobedience. “You have preserved my life because I am innocent; you have brought me into your presence forever.” Psalm 41:12

In addition to that, David’s attitude was heavily influenced by living in a world where judgement for sin was carried out during your life. There was no belief that you were either punished or blessed in the afterlife for what you have done. The accounts were settled now, so you had to be far more careful about what you did.

2016-01-13_01-01-47“O LORD, don’t rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your rage.
Return, O LORD, and rescue me.
Save me because of Your unfailing love.
For the dead do not remember You.
Who can praise You from the grave?” Psalm 6:1, then 4-5

“O LORD my God, if I have done wrong
or am guilty of injustice,
if I have betrayed a friend
or plundered my enemy without cause,
then let my enemies capture me.
Let them trample me into the ground
and drag my honour in the dust.” Psalm 7:3-5

So what does this mean for us? It’s a reminder to be aware of the full extent of our failings. We can sin deliberately, or without meaning to do so, or without knowing that we have; but bless God, there is grace for all of these errors, we simply need to remember to prayerfully cover all those bases. It is a wise move to do as David did and ask God to show us where we have been wrong and yes, that takes courage! But ensuring we are as holy as we can be, and the resulting benefit of getting closer to God, makes that step of bravery worth it!

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts,
and see if any wicked way is in me; and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24


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When It Takes a Year to Repent

“When I feel guilt, I feel that I have made a mistake, and when
I feel shame, I feel that I am a mistake.” John Bradshaw

1280px-Israel-2013-Aerial_13-MasadaWe’ve all done things which we feel guilty over and regret, but shame is, as Bradshaw said, when “I feel that I am a mistake.” It becomes a part of the way we see ourselves, colouring our self-worth, and our ability to deal with the problems generated. We’re not the ‘us’ we want to be. Instead, we’re a worthless failure.

Shame is associated with feelings of being unlovable, useless, inferior, stupid, dirty, or bad. Shame makes us want to hide the sin, and bury the real ‘me’ out of fear, because the real ‘me’ is worthless as a human being.

If you knew what you had done came with a death sentence, then how much deeper would that shame reach? If you knew someone else had died because of you, how much harder does dealing with your inadequacy then become?

Shame is why David took a year to repent of his sin with BathSheba and for killing her husband, Uriah. It was the burden of shame that made him want to hide what he had done from God, so he did.

Guilt is a different emotional entity. Guilt is easier to admit and makes you want to repent. You want to cry out to the Lord, apologise and make amends to whoever you have wronged. But shame cuts much deeper. It scars you on the inside and undermines your identity. How it affected David is clear in Psalm 38:3-8 (the whole Psalm and Psalm 51 are dedicated to this).

“Because of your anger, my whole body is sick;
my health is broken because of my sins.
My guilt overwhelms me—
it is a burden too heavy to bear.
My wounds fester and stink
because of my foolish sins.
I am bent over and racked with pain.
All day long I walk around filled with grief.
A raging fever burns within me,
and my health is broken.
I am exhausted and completely crushed.
My groans come from an anguished heart.”

We all make mistakes, they are an essential part of growing. However, the more intolerable the mistake, the harder it is to admit and seek forgiveness. David made a horrendous series of mistakes, which had tragic, long-term repercussions; yet the same forgiveness that the Lord reaches out to us with, was available to him. “Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the LORD has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin.” 2 Samuel 12:13

Forgiveness for the act that lead to shame and healing can come to anybody. One thing that helped David heal was the knowledge that God, who knew him inside and out, loved him and wanted him to retain his position as His servant. David felt the shame, but knew that he wasn’t a mistake as a person, and that pulled him through.

Psalm 32:1-7
“Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those
whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt,
whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
When I refused to confess my sin,
my body wasted away,
and I groaned all day long.
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.
Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.”
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,
that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
For you are my hiding place;
you protect me from trouble.
You surround me with songs of victory.”

We all go through times when we need God’s unconditional acceptance and forgiveness. If you should find yourself in that position, look at the positive side to this part of David’s life. Reflect on how the Lord responded to David and allow the encouragement in God’s Word to become a source of healing for you.


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