I Have a Confession to Make – Week of June 21, 2021
Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
One of the joys of opening up the pages of the Scriptures with someone who is not overly familiar with them, is when they come to the realization just how real-life these accounts are. I have lost count how many times I have heard an expression like this: “Pastor, these people, weren’t always so good, were they?” Or this one, with a bit of brutal honesty: “Pastor, I’m not any better than them, am I?”
Go ahead and read the context for Psalm 51, 2 Samuel chapters 11 and following. Go ahead and get angry what David did, a man “after the Lord’s heart” who’s life’s story would earn a TV-MA rating on Netflix. Go ahead and ask: “How could David???” in righteous indignation.
And when you’re done going down that road, with the Ten Commandments by your side, go ahead and ask, not how could David, but how could I?
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. (And with thanks to Professors Mark Paustian and Ken Cherney and Daniel Deutschlander, the latter of whom now rests from his labors!, for I think I heard it from all three at one point or another) The sin you are capable of, you have done.
Conceived in sin, our actions have given evidence of the fact. Surely I was sinful at birth…and David continues: A broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
How could David? How could you? How could I?
How could God?!? This is God’s mercy on display: he does not despise your broken heart. He does not turn a deaf ear to your confession. He does not delight in the death of sinners. He rejoices in cleansing you; washing you; forgiving you!
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Amen.