“Create in me a clean heart, O God—and renew a right spirit within me.”

Psalm 51:10

Truly, He specializes in “wrecks rebuilt.”

Such is the essence of the Gospel Message, contained in today’s Manna.  David knew God had chosen Him to be the second king of Israel and even called him “a man after His own heart” (I Sam. 13:14b).  Yet, he also knew he’d fallen way short of what God had intended after committing adultery with Bathsheba and having her husband, Uriah, killed in battle (II Sam. 11:1-25).

And, it was out of his guilt and shame that the broken king penned Psalms 32 and 51.

He knew he’d done wrong; that’s why he said “My sin is ever before me” (Ps. 51:3).  And, he knew that his sins hadn’t only hurt Bathsheba, her husband and his fellow countrymen; they’d also pierced the heart of God (v.4a).

That’s why he prayed today’s Manna:

He knew nothing about a “guilty conscience,” for the Hebrew way of understanding such things was different from the Greek’s.  However, he knew there was an aching in his heart and great anguish in his soul—and he needed relief.

No amount of lamb’s blood flowing from an altar could “create in him a clean heart”—for no external sacrifice can ever erase the guilt and shame of sin.  But, he knew the God of Abraham was/is able to “remove our transgressions from us as far as the east is from the west” (Ps. 103:11).  And, like Jeremiah, he also knew the Lord would “forgive our iniquity and remember our sin no more” (Jer. 31:34c).  Hallelujah!!

So, that’s why he wrote and prayed as he did.

And, that’s why we should also pray this same prayer whenever we’ve wandered far from God and desire to come Home even as the prodigal son did that day (Lk. 15:11-24).

By nature our lives are a disaster waiting to happen.  By nature we choose darkness over light and evil over good.  Yet, when the Savior arrives and we place our trust in Him, we are miraculously and instantaneously transformed by His Grace into a “new creature” (II Cor. 5:17).  And, how wonderful this Divine transformation!  Glory!!

But, the old man dies slowly and there are times we still “like sheep go astray” (Is. 53:6a).

And, it’s in those times when we cry out to the Master and say, “Create in me a CLEAN heart, O God.  Mine is so darkened with sin.  And, renew (Heb. ‘chadash’—‘to make new, repair, rebuild, etc.’) a right spirit within me—for mine has been defiled through bitterness, unforgiveness, a critical attitude, etc.’).”

How wonderful to know it’s by “His MERCIES—plural and never-ending—that we are not consumed.  And, His faithfulness and compassions are unending as He puts a sign outside Heaven’s Door that says ‘Wrecks rebuilt’” (Lam. 3:21-23).  Truly, He specializes in “The Land of New Beginnings.”  Why not pause and give Him thanks right now?

May 7, 2011