Summary: 10th in a Lenten Series on Psalm 51
Psalm 51:10 3/18/18. (Create in Me a Clean Heart #10) Create in me a Clean Heart
So, let’s just acknowledge the elephant in the room at least for some and say that it’s truly March madness. For those of you who stayed up late last night you were rewarded with what is called a “buzzer beater” as Michigan’s young Jordan Poole threw up a three pointer at the last second to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and put Michigan into the sweet 16. But speaking of 16, that’s not the biggest story of March madness. It had to happen eventually. A number 16 seed defeated a number 1 seed in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
First time ever. That’s why they call it March Madness. And now officially there are no more perfect brackets out there. That game even messed up Joni’s attempt to guess the winners by their mascots. I mean how can a golden retriever beat a Cavalier?! He has swords! A golden retriever is just a gentle pet! He must have gotten the Cavalier to trip over him or something. One writer even said, it was one of the greatest upsets since David beat Goliath.
Which brings us right back to Psalm 51 and King David’s prayer of repentance. Because he wasn’t always “King” David, was he? Long before he became king, he was only a lowly shepherd boy, the last of 8 sons of Jesse, and the last to be considered by the Prophet Samuel when it came time to anoint one of those sons to be king, ‘cause at the time he didn’t look like much. His brother Eliab was much more impressive. But God told Samuel something very important:
Slide: “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)
And at the time, David had “a pure heart.” He had a simple, pure faith in God that allowed him to face one of the largest human beings who ever lived without fear. The Bible lays it out like this:
Slide: “Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him. He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” (1 Samuel 17:41–44 NIV)
Thus saith the #1 seed to the #16 seed. Except it’s one thing to be threatened with losing a basketball game, and it’s quite another to have your “flesh be given to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field.” And yet somehow David had the purity of heart and the steadfastness of spirit to stand his ground and give one of the most inspiring speech’s the world has ever heard.
Slide: “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth,
Slide: and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:45–47 NIV)
O.k., it’s a little graphic, but pure. Pure courage, pure confidence, pure faith and trust in God. A pure heart. He had it at one point. And he lost it. And when he was losing it, he didn’t even realize how or when it happened. If you recall, the same thing happened to Samson in the Bible. In his day, he was Israel’s Goliath, the strongest man in the world. And yet he too let his lust and coveting give him an unclean heart and spirit. So after years of walking away from God and His commands the Bible says that: “he did not know that the LORD had left him.” (Judges 16:20 NIV). God had finally let him go his own way. Fortunately, at the end of his life he too prayed a prayer of repentance to God and was heard by God.
Last Wednesday we sang the great song “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”, written by Robert Robinson that has the beautiful words and sentiment: