Psalm 51:10

Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 51:10

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” – Psalm 51:10
This psalm, chapter 51, was written by David and deals with his heart when Nathan the prophet came to Him after he had gone into Bathsheba.  This is written from a penitent heart, asking God to remove his sins from him.  “Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.” Psalm 51:1-3 David has incredibly strong feelings of remorse for what he had done.  In fact, he knows the depth of his iniquity.  “Against You, you only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified when You speak and blameless when You judge.”  Psalm 51:4. Of course, we know that David sinned against Bathsheba in lusting after her from the rooftop.  And he sinned against Uriah in that he not only took his wife and committed adultery with her after which he took her for his wife, but he also put Uriah into a position where the only outcome was his death.  David’s heart was broken by what he had done, and he recognized that this sin had overtaken him.  We know this because when Nathan made known to David what he had attempted to keep secret, he did not try to cover it up, but said “…I have sinned against the Lord…” 2 Samuel 12:13.  It was not that he denied that he sinned against Bathsheba, Uriah and others.  It was that he saw sinning against God was the worst and hardest to deal with. He continues his prayer “Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.” Psalm 51:7-8. His sin is so heavy upon him that he alludes to broken bones to describe how great the weight is on him.  He then asks God to look not upon his sins but remove them from him.  “Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities.” Psalm 51:9. Up to this point, he has asked God to forgive him, remove his iniquity, wash him so that he shall be whiter than snow.  He has prayed here for sanctifying grace and forgiveness.  However, in our focus verse he takes this to another level.  “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  Psalm 51:10. This is a very powerful verse, for here David is asking God not to just cleanse his heart but to completely remake it.  His great request here was that his corrupt heart should be done away with, and a new, clean heart replace it.  The Hebrew word translated ‘create’ in verse 10 is the same word translated ‘created’ in Genesis 1:1 where the idea is a new thing, an actual act of creation where something begins to exist where there was nothing there before.  David felt that cleansing his heart was not enough, it needed to be replaced with one not corrupted by the lust and sin which he succumbed to.  And with this, he prayed that this new heart would be strong and steadfast so that he would never succumb to the lusts and sins he had in regard to Bathsheba and Uriah. I can say that I have felt this way, where my remorse over sins committed has caused me much heartfelt sorrow.  However, what we must remember is that God knows our hearts, and if we are truly saddened by transgressions He will know and forgive us.  He will not hold them against us but will totally absolve us of our guilt.  However, we must desire with all we are to never succumb again to these sins.  We must, as David did, cry out that our corrupt heart and nature be removed from us and be replaced with one free of the desires of the flesh.  This should be our heart in this matter. William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Mark 7:19.

Verse of the Day Devotion.  Mark 7:19 

“Because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus. He declared all foods clean.) – Mark 7:19

This verse addresses the traditions and commandments of the Jewish people of that time. Some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus to probably observe His ways. “And the Pharisees and some of the scribes gathered together around Him when they had come from Jerusalem and had seen that some of His disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed.” Mark 7:1-2. Now the scribes and Pharisees were not as interested in hygiene as with ritual purity. Mark explains  this in the next two verses. “For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the traditions of the elders; and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they cleanse themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots.” Mark 7:3-4.

Then they ask Jesus a question. “And the Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” Mark 7:5. His answer to them is quite powerful. “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” Mark 7:6-8. He was telling them that instead of obeying the commandments of God, they follow the traditions of men, essentially their forefathers.

And He calls them hypocrites; honoring Him with their mouths while their hearts are far away. And He shows this by using an example in the Ten Commandments. “He was also saying to them, “You nicely set aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. For Moses said, ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER’; and, ‘HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER, LET HIM BE PUT TO DEATH’; but you say, If a man says to his father or his mother, anything of mine you might have been helped by is Corban (that is to say, given to God), you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.” Mark 7:9-13. Here He showed their hypocrisy regarding the keeping of the Mosaic Law.

Now the Pharisees claimed that Jesus and His followers where being defiled by not keeping the Law as they saw it regarding not washing the hands prior to eating. And Jesus calls the multitude together to explain His words to the Pharisees. “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand there is nothing outside the man which going into him can defile him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man.” Mark 7:14b-15. Then after leaving the multitude, the disciples asked Him about this. And Jesus responds in the next verse. “Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him; because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” Mark 7:18-19. God is far more concerned with what comes out of us than what goes into us. This is especially true when it comes to foods and traditions and rituals. In saying this, He declared all foods clean. He is more interested in what comes out. And He is also saying that physical food, with its clear trajectory through and out of the body, cannot cause a heart/spiritual condition to become defiled. 

He then tells them what comes out defiles. “And He was saying that which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.” Mark 7:20-23. These are the things that defiles us, not what we take in, but what we put out. What we take in, this referring to food, will not in any way defile us, for it goes in and eventually leaves. The things that are listed above come from the heart and definitely defiles Him, for the desires that these denote are acts of sin. Jesus’ main point is that uncleanness is moral rather than ritual. Uncleanness should no longer be considered a property of objects but rather a description of inner attitudes, a condition of the heart. The goodness of a deed depends not solely on its doing, but primarily on its intent. Why do we do it? Because we want it and desire it, or because this is what God desires?

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.