Probably my favorite psalm is Psalm 51. It’s my favorite for a lot of reasons, but mostly because it is a song of repentance. If you grew up in church, or even if you didn’t, I’m sure you know the story of King David’s fall into sin with Bathsheba. The Bible describes in 2 Samuel 11 a time when David lusted after a woman, Bathsheba, impregnated her, lied to cover it up, killed her husband, and then broke Jewish tradition and married Bathsheba. I’m sure the day he married Bathsheba he breathed a sigh of relief. The secret of his sin was safe. That is until Nathan, the prophet, openly rebuked David for his sin.
As a result, David was broken, embarrassed, ashamed. But he was also repentant. During this time of brokenness he wrote, “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 Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and make me willing to obey. Then I will teach (or sing, or declare, or play) Your ways to rebels, and they will return to 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.” (Psalm 51:10-17, NLT)
I can’t even imagine how humbling this experience would have been. I can’t imagine the depth of David’s brokenness. I can’t imagine the pain. But David’s brokenness came as a result of his own personal exultation. David got a little bit too big for his britches.
After all, he was David the giant slayer. He was David the conqueror. He was David the King of the greatest nation of that time. He could do whatever he wanted. He was the chosen one. God chose him. God deposed the first king, Saul, and established him as king.
But now, David, nothing more than a broken man, crawls in humility to the throne. He asked for forgiveness. He asked for mercy. He asked for grace. He repented. He changed. And he found God again.
I see myself so much in this story. I’m not talking about the adultery, but the haughty, puffy attitude that David showed. God forgive me for having that attitude.
Every position we have...every gift God has given us...every talent He’s placed in our hands...is a responsibility. It’s an obligation. It’s a calling. It’s a mission. That gift is not for our own glory. Even if we use our talents outside of a church building—which we should by the way—it’s still not for our glory. Everything He has given for our hands to do is to point people back to God…to His love…to His truth. It is our primary objective to lead people into the presence of God.
David had a calling on his life. God chose him to be king because He trusted David with His people. God has a calling on your life. And you know what, just like David you're going to mess up. If you're called to be a mom, you're going to yell at your kids. You're going to have arguments with your spouse. Of course you are.
Our ability to fail is not really an option. It will happen. Our response to our failures will define the outcome of our lives.
"...when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you...I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes..."