Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 51:10
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” – Psalm 51:10This 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.