Posted by: arieliondotcom | November 3, 2013

Clean Companionship (Psalm 51)

Clean Companionship (Psalm 51)

So it doesn’t matter if you smell bad, does it? There’s no reason to wash yourself or your clothes. Especially if you’re in a relationship, right? They should put up with your smelly breath and rotten armpits and clothes that smell like poo, right?

Of course not! Especially if we’re in a relationship, even if only friends, wanting to be pleasant company is why we want to be pleasing to the person we care about. Sure we want to be clean to stay healthy. But when we’re in a relationship we want to be clean. If not, there’s something unhealthy about us or our relationship.

That’s what’s going on in Psalm 51. It’s all about being clean for GOD’s companionship. You can read the background story in 2 Samuel chapter 12. David committed adultery with Bathsheba and tries to hide it by killing her husband. Nathan the prophet confronts David. And David writes this psalm as he considers how awful his sins are.

David asks GOD to blot out his sin and forgive him not because of anything good David has done but purely out of GOD’s Mercy. David knows that is the only way we can ever approach GOD.

There are lessons here for us as well. First approach GOD only on the basis of His mercy. He owes you nothing. Everything you are and have and are able to do is the result of pure mercy.

Next, David asks to be completely clean. He doesn’t ask to just get by or to get out of the consequences of his wrong. He sincerely wants to be completely clean as only GOD can make him.

Do we want GOD to really cleanse us or to only make us clean enough to feel better and escape consequences?

We must admit that we will continue to sin and head to death unless GOD in His Mercy changes us. That means cleaner than “let me get away with the sin I enjoy.” It means completely clean.

David realizes, too, that any sin is really a sin against GOD. We may offend others but because they’re sinners, too, we can’t sin against them. But everything that harms GOD’s creation, including ourselves and others, every lack of love, is an affront against GOD. It claims rights and powers against Him that we don’t have the right to. The most innocent child is still stained with sin going back to Eve as part of fallen humanity.

For the pure heart that pleases Him, GOD must give us a new heart. As JESUS will tell Nicodemus years after David, we must be born again.

We don’t earn cleanness by our sacrifices or anything we think or do. But having being changed from within by GOD we want to sacrifice and live to please him as a result. A truly clean heart and right living are not the cause but the effect of salvation. They are the natural byproduct of a healthy Spiritual life from GOD.

So David says GOD doesn’t want or need our sacrifices to try to earn His Love and forgiveness. But He welcomes them when they’re the result of realizing how much He has loved us by forgiving us.

As Christians we realize that through JESUS we are forgiven through no merit of our own but simply by the Grace of GOD. And that realization changes everything.

There will still be consequences to our sin, as David would find out.
And we will never stop sinning in this life. But we will always be brought back to JESUS as a reminder of His forgiveness and strength to do better. And counted completely clean in Christ we have the companionship of GOD.


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