Summary: What can we do about failure, hurt, regrets we carry and bad, destructive choices we’ve made? Go back to the Bible
Embracing Dinosaur Principles in a Developed Society
Scripture reading: Psalm 51: 1-10; 16-17
Sermon text: Psalm 51:10
David’s Psalm concerning his adulterous affair with Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11 (year earlier).
For David, adultery, for another it could be lust but not lust for another person. One can be consumed with lust for status for instance. The early church was convinced that the three vices that would destroy the church if anything could destroy her are sex, money and power.
Fact is we’re soiled. Our best efforts to live for God end up in failure. We hurt the people we love, say things we regret, make choices that have painful consequences, and destroy in minutes what took years to build.
This is the power of influence, the world’s influence on us. I called this sermon, Embracing Dinosaur principles in a developed society because society does not adopt the views of the church and actually, the church struggles with concepts of confession, sin and such. We threaten the extinction of Biblical principles for life. Societies, and some churches, consider Biblical principles as antiquated, outdated and of little value. Examples:
- Divorce is now the first alternative instead of the last resort. The Bible speaks clearly on God’s dislike of divorce as a solution. I don’t speak this insensitively to unavoidable cases of divorce and situations beyond a person’s control.
- People resort to lawsuit action as a remedy to resolve disputes when Scripture tells us to settle out of Court.
- Demand our ‘rights’ at anyone’s expense no matter what the issue. We’ve forgotten Jesus’ words of the gospels, “Do for others as you would like them to do for you.” (Mt 7:12, Lu 6:31)
- We argue with pointed fingers instead of reflecting on our responsibility for something in a given situation
- We, like the world, tend to equate worthiness with being a ‘good person’ / moral, and hard-working. We choose to avoid language that charges us with being ‘sinners’, responding that “I’m not a bad person.” Doesn’t relate to what you do or don’t do but relates to who you are because of an inbred nature.
What can we do about failure, hurt, regrets we carry and bad, destructive choices we’ve made? Go back to the Bible (song with that line!) We’ll listen to the voice of experience as we look into David’s heart in Psalm 51. As we do this we have to realize something very important from the start. Just as a person given to an addiction must admit their condition before recovery can occur so too we must admit our condition of sin before we can recover. If we do not recognize we have a problem, the problem cannot be resolved.
1. CONFESSION – our best response to sin
The story of the candy cane caper! She was only five years old, blonde hair and wore the cutest pigtails you ever did see. Her blue eyes grabbed your attention and demanded you notice her. But don’t be fooled by those endearing charms! She had a candy cane to which her mom said, “don’t eat that before dinner.” When she came to the dinner mommy told her not to do. She said, “No”.
“Did you eat the candy cane?” mommy asked.
“No, I didn’t, honest mommy.”
The story around her mouth told a different tale, as she stood there with red smears around her lips and sticky hands behind her back.
Janine still has a way of turning things to her advantage!
- Step one is admission of guilt – denying we took the forbidden candy cane doesn’t change the truth…
- David’s dilemma and the prophet Nathan in 2 Samuel 12:1-9
- Continues with consequences (Vs 11-12) and David’s confession (V 13 – “I have sinned against the Lord”) – Come clean! CONFESS – David reflects in Psalm 51:3, 4 (sinned against God but wronged other people in the process), 5… -- David admits to the candy cane!
With CONFESSION comes
2. CLEANSING – God’s process of dealing with sin
The heart of David – Ps 51:1 – “have mercy” – indication that David knew he needed cleansing. Ps 51: 2, 7, 9, 10, 12 (note verbs)…
Salvation Army officer, Richard Slater, wrote in the late 1980s or early 1990s the song (# 188 in The Salvation Army Songbook):
All the guilty past is washed away,
From its penalty I’m free;
Holy Spirit, now thy might display,
Lead me on to full salvation.
“Full Salvation”? It is one thing to be cleansed of sin but quite another to be free of the guilt of our sin. While most of us are forgiven of our sins, too many of us still live with the guilt of our sins.
The impact that has to hold us back…