Summary: Redemption begins with genuine confession. Redemption requires that we recognize our need and by faith call out for mercy. Redemption begins to restore healing and hope.

At the Movies. Redemption

Psalms 51

1. Redemption begins with genuine confession. vv.1-5

2. Redemption requires that we recognize our need and by faith call out for mercy. vv.6-9

3. Redemption begins to restore healing and hope. vv:10-13

One of the great stories of all time is the story we know as Les Miserables. In this classic by Victor Hugo, written in 1862, the main character is Jean Valjean. The story opens with Jean Valjean in prison for 19 years: 5 for stealing a loaf of bread because his sister and nephew was dying of starvation; the other 14 years for attempts to escape. Finally he is given his parole paper by his arch nemesis, Javert, who in the movie is played by Russell Crowe, certainly the worst miscast in the history of movies.

Even though he’s out of prison, because of that yellow sheet of parole paper, no one will give him work, no one will feed him, no one will shelter him. He ends up at the door of a bishop who gives him food and shelter. But Valjean is still a thief, and he steals the silver bowls and utensils of the bishop and sneaks out. But he is caught trying to sell a piece of the silver and dragged back to the bishop’s house. He expected the bishop to confirm the thievery, but instead the bishop looks at the policemen, grabs two silver candlesticks and says to Valjean: “My friend, you forgot the best: take these”. This act of mercy in the face of obvious guilt redeemed and changed Jean Valjean’s life.

Turn to Psalm 51. We continue our series using popular movies to illustrate key biblical themes. And the theme for this morning is redemption. And there are few texts in the Bible that demonstrate the power of mercy and redemption like this one.

You might know the story. It’s told in the book of 2nd Samuel 11. The great king David sitting on his back patio smoking a stogie and sipping his favorite beverage and he notices a hot young thing bathing across the way. If you go to Israel with me in 2020, you’ll see where the king’s palace was and look across the little valley called Kidron where Bathsheba would have been living.

He sends someone to find out who this beauty is and finds out two things: Her name is Bathsheba and he finds out she’s married to a guy named Uriah. I’ll save you the sordid details—if you’re interested in full drama, read 2 Samuel 11. Bottom line is that David sleeps with her, gets her pregnant, then tries to get the husband to come back from the front lines of the battle to sleep with her so that Uriah and everyone else would think it was his child. But Uriah obeys his king and comes back, but he refuses to sleep with his wife as long as his band of brothers is fighting a war. Ultimately, David has Uriah killed to protect his secret.

But there are no secrets kept from an all-knowing God. And so Yahweh sends His prophet Nathan to David to confront him. Let’s pick up this closing scene in 2 Samuel 12:1-14

You read this and it is better than any soap opera or trashy romantic novel. You might be thinking, how could the Great King David, they guy who wrote the 23rd Psalm; the guy who God said “There is a man after my own heart”; how could he do this?

Two thoughts: 1st: David did it out of his broken and sinful nature. That’s how. The 2nd thought is: I don’t have any stones to throw. Neither do you. Are you there with me? I am so freakin broken so that my words and actions are absolutely antithetical to what I know and desire I should be.

So what do we do when we fall so woefully short of what we desire and what God commands us to be? We ask for God’s redemption!

The answer is found in Psalm 51. Let’s stand and read together Psalm 51:1-13

Redemption—everyone loves stories of redemption. When you look at the great stories and the great movies, they all have redemption as a major theme. Gone with the Wind. To Kill a Mockingbird. The 19 Rocky movies. All the Superhero movies from Thor to Spiderman—they all have characters who were counted down and out but they survived and overcame.

You can’t get much lower than where David found himself. And yet, in this Psalm we see his redemption. We all long for redemption; it is a universal quest of humanity to experience redemption. But not everyone knows how to experience genuine redemption. This Psalm gives us some key insights:

1. Redemption begins with genuine confession. vv.1-5

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