"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin." Psalms 51:1-2 NIV
This Psalm begins with the note, "A Psalm of David. When Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba."
David’s story demonstrates that no matter how close we are in our walk with God, we are tempted. David was a willing instrument of God, a shepherd boy turned warrior who united the people of Israel. He also had his weaknesses, that he let lead him into sin, his longing for another man's wife which led to the murder of her husband.
Instead of reflecting on his failures, the passage for today illustrates the honesty and sincerity of David's repentance. David could have elected not to be repentant. He could have said, “I did things so horrible that God will never forgive me.” Alternatively, we find him down on his knees acknowledging his sins and pleading for forgiveness. We know that God not only forgave David but gave him the promise that it from his lineage would come Israel’s true king, the Messiah.
Regardless of what we have done, in Jesus Christ, we can find forgiveness. All those things we have done, all the mistakes we have made are inconsequential to God. When we earnestly ask for repentance, confessing our shortcomings, we are forgiven. Like David, we all have our weakness, and those things tempt us, but that does not need to define who we are. In God’s pardon, the labels of adulterer, murderer, addict, whatever our sins are erased, and we are given a clean slate. Those things are in the past, and Christ is our future.
Have mercy on us, God. We want to thank you for your unfailing love and compassion. It is in your understanding that you forgive our sins. We want to be made clean. Please wash away all our sins and make us clean. Let us be your instruments. In your Son Jesus, we pray. Amen.