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::Devotional:: ‘David’s Haunted Heart’

November 4, 2009

I’m not a huge fan of scary movies but I’ve seen my fair share of them over the years.  I think the ones that scare me the most are the ones that are pretty close to reality.  The ones that are more like psychological thrillers where characters are in the midst of real life circumstances and situations. In fact, reality can often be terrifying because sometimes we find ourselves in the midst of a situation where we can’t change the channel or turn off the movie when the scary part comes.  The other day we looked at Psalm 51 where David cried out to God with a broken heart and a broken and contrite spirit asking for mercy and forgiveness.  Well before David’s heart became broken before God it was haunted by his sins.  Probably something many of us have had the unfortunate and unsettling experience of in our own lives.

Psalm 51 was written by David after Nathan the prophet came to him and called him out on his sin with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband as a cover up.  Now, although David was caught up in the lustful deceit of his sins, I still believe his heart beat for the Lord.  In fact, I believe David was well aware of exactly what he was doing and exactly what God thought about it the entire time it was going on.  He wrote:

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.  Psalm 51:3 NIV

I think that’s probably an understatement from David.  One translation of the same verse says:

For I recognize my shameful deeds – they haunt me day and night.  Psalm 51:3 NLT

His sins were always before him.  His shameful deeds haunted him day and night.  I don’t know about you but that hits pretty close to home for me.  Sin is never dormant in our hearts.  Both armies engaged in spiritual warfare look at sin in our lives as a critical objective.

On the one hand Satan is attacking that sin and using it to remind us of just how awful it is.  He’s an accuser.  It’s a wedge he wants to use to drive us away from the Lord.  “There’s no way God wants to forgive you for that sin.  What kind of Christian would do something like that.”  Maybe he whispered in David’s ear, “You, a man after God’s own heart?  You just had a man murdered and conceived a child with his wife.  Is that God’s heart?  Shame.”  Don’t you know that David’s heart was haunted with his sin in the moments of the day and even when he laid down to sleep.  You want to talk about nightmares?

On the other hand, God is attacking that sin from a different avenue.  Make no mistake about it, God’s attack was not a plan to allow David to forget what he had done, have peace and move on.  In fact, I’m sure many of his thoughts and many of his nightmares came when God reminded him of what he had done.  The difference is that God was reminding him so that the sin could be acknowledged, confessed, and forgiven.  Rather than drive a wedge like Satan, God was trying to repair a bridge.

Thankfully the Lord was the victor as Psalm 51 is David’s acknowledgement, confession, and request for forgiveness over his sins.  We’ve all experienced the scary side that haunting sin can bring to our lives.  Every moment we’re awake and even in our dreams.  Our only hope for peace is confession to the Lord and a request for his mercy and forgiveness.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 4, 2009 12:48 pm

    WOW! Amazing how the Lord works, I was just reading Psalms 51 yesterday and that has been so real in my life, in ways that I never would have imagined. I am so thankful for God’s unending love and forgiveness, thus providing the peace to move on and leave that sin behind.

  2. November 4, 2009 2:07 pm

    JT – good to hear from you man! I’m am right there with you brother. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I have repeated 1 John 1:9 to myself in an attempt to convince myself that God wants to forgive me and that rather than run from him I should run to him so he can help me leave that sin behind through his forgiveness.

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