Psalm 51:10 Create in Me a Pure Heart


10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

When David wrote this Psalm he had gotten a reality check. The prophet Nathan confronted him with his adultery with Batsheba (See 2 Samuel 11 and 12).

David had a good look into his own heart and saw the condition it was in. And it was not a pretty sight. He was offered a clear view on the damage, devastation so you wish that had been brought about there by sin and realized that, no matter how much of a royalty he was, there was nothing he could do to change: he could not repair it, he could not adjust it, he could not reform it.

3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.

4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

With a soul in agony and pain David does the one thing that is left for him: he turned to God and asked Him to do what only God can do: create in David a pure heart. Recently Michael posted the question:

If you were to run into the real you, while out and about, would you recognize yourself?

I guess David would would have answered yes but I definitely do not like what I see. I guess the same applies to many of us myself included. If I could look into my own heart I would recognize this same condition. When it comes to living a sin free life I can but acknowledge that I seem to be great at screwing up, it’s like a second nature. But man, it seems like wherever you turn the temptations are waiting for you, so you may fall or at the least stumble.  Have you, like me wondered, why it is that we acknowledge his ways and commands yet at the same time we breach them so often? We can try and fix the problem ourselves but  speaking from my own experience, it did not work for me. The effects of sin are so disastrous that we simply have no remedy, or perhaps I should say, I do not have one. Sin has this nasty quality that it enslaves us and that is what Jesus saw when he said:

34Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. (John 8:34)

David recognized the depth of his need and turned to God. In essence he was praying to God:

God, I can’t fix this myself, I do not have the power to change myself, my heart is corrupted and sinful. Please do for me what I cannot do myself; create in me a pure heart, O, God.

The final and universal answer to David’s cry an the ones like that, including my own, was provided by the sacrifice of Jesus.In Paul’s letter to the Romans we read (Romans 6)

6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.  8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

Through this miracle a new heart, a new creation is made available to each and everyone of us. Did you read verse 11 of Psalm 51? I’ll repeat it below:

11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

David understood that he could not fix his heart himself and was all too aware that he needed God and the daily guidance of God’s gift an power: the Holy Spirit. What a relief when we read Paul’s 2 Corinthians 5:

11Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

16So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

A new heart, a new creation, and the more you consider it the more it becomes clear how much this message is true. Sure I am far from flawless, but it seems to work out better every day since through Jesus-Christ, I could be reconciled with God and guided by the Holy Spirit I get better every day. I realize that is is hard work at times, given our natural proneness to sin, I admit that sometimes the guidance of the Holy Spirit does not seem to make sense, or I just don’t seem to want to hear the truth, but in the end He always turns out to be right. What an amazing Godhead is it not?

O God of David, of Jesus, create a pure heart in me too!

Update

After finishing this post I checked my email and this came from Daily Bible Verse of 6 August:

1 John 5:3-4 – This is love for God: to obey his commands.

This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. – 1 John 5:3-4

The apostle John gives every believer a tool to gauge our love for God – how we respond to his commands. If God’s commands seem burdensome John tells us that this is a sign that our love has grown cold. The answer to this is not to do better in obeying; it is to come back to our first love. It is when our love for God is alive that we experience victory over the world and all of it’s obstacles, for the commands of God are life to our heart and strength to our souls.

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

This was simply too applicable not to share.

1 John 5:3-4 – This is love for God: to obey his commands.

This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. – 1 John 5:3-4

The apostle John gives every believer a tool to gauge our love for God – how we respond to his commands. If God’s commands seem burdensome John tells us that this is a sign that our love has grown cold. The answer to this is not to do better in obeying; it is to come back to our first love. It is when our love for God is alive that we experience victory over the world and all of it’s obstacles, for the commands of God are life to our heart and strength to our souls.

One thought on “Psalm 51:10 Create in Me a Pure Heart

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