There it is – a nice clear, clean heart. Not red, but you get the idea. That’s where David was headed in Psalm 51. That was the Psalm our pastor taught from Wednesday night. He explained how David needed forgiveness for his sin, and that David recognized that need:
Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. (Psalms 51:2-3 KJV)
Let’s take a look at two others who betrayed someone they were supposed to love – Judas and Peter. Their attitudes and personalities play out from the four gospels, time after time. John mentions Judas’ attitude toward money in John 12:6 and again in 13:29. In the first he states categorically “… because he was a thief.” Peter, on the other hand, received information from God the Father and Jesus called him blessed in Matthew 16:17.
They both betrayed Christ – Judas for the money he craved, based on his lack of belief that Jesus was the Messiah. Peter out of fear, though Jesus had explained to him not only that he would betray, but do it thrice before the cock crowed. Jesus knew them both.
David knew himself, and knew against whom he had sinned:
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. (Psalms 51:4 KJV)
Judas and Peter both realized their sin, too. Judas, after all his time with Jesus still did not understand that God was capable of loving kindness and forgiveness to a contrite heart. His response to his awareness was suicide. Peter wept (Matthew 26:75, Mark 14:72, Luke 22:62.)
David’s response to the consequences of his adultery and murder was a contrite heart and an open plea to his Lord:
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. (Psalms 51:10-12 KJV)
What is the condition of your joy of His salvation? That joy is available to all, and it even shared with angels:
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. (Luke 15:7 KJV)
I do not know who Christ had in mind when he described just persons, which need no repentance. It isn’t me – for I stand in need of His loving kindness and His forgiveness when I sin, though I love and serve Him. Whether for David, for Peter, for me or anyone who comes to Him, God is quite capable of providing that clean heart.
David came to God, as did Peter. Judas didn’t.