This post is part of my book launch, God’s Triumphant Mercy: A Reflection of Psalm 51
Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
As David faced the reality of his sins, there was a deep sense of what he deserved: to be cast away from God’s presence. Those who have a shallow view of God, especially His holiness, don’t realize or agree that we are, by nature, “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3).
Many have a tendency to only highlight God’s love, while neglecting His holiness. Apart from Christ, our just sentence is “the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thess. 1:9).
No doubt, David’s awareness of his sins wasn’t a one-time event. Throughout the rest of his life, he experienced the devastation of them, even though he was forgiven. Amnon raped Tamar. Absalom murdered Amnon and rebelled against his father. He had to flee Jerusalem, losing all his comfort. To say the least, a few moments of sinful pleasure is very costly.
It’s no wonder that David had a great sense of his unworthiness. Here’s the irony, though. We’re always unworthy of God’s gracious benefits. We’re never entitled to His goodness. Many times, it’s only through our sins that we start to deeply realize these truths.
David knew He deserved God’s righteous judgment, which is the absence of His favor, “away from the presence of the Lord.” He felt a legitimate possibility that God would take His Holy Spirit from him.
The Bible teaches us that we can “grieve the Holy Spirit of God” (Eph. 4:30). It also teaches us that we can “quench the Spirit” (1 Thess. 5:19). When we do so, either by our sins or by neglecting the means of grace, we’ll experience a dull, weak, and lifeless spiritual life. There’s no joy because there’s no sense of God’s favor and presence.
David’s only hope was God’s name: “For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself” (1 Sam. 12:22). When God’s people grievously sin, God’s steadfast love will bring them out of their misery, for He has set His everlasting love upon them.
He doesn’t change: “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed” (Mal. 3:6). That’s why there’s great comfort in David’s story. When we’ve grievously sinned and rightly deserve God’s desertion, He’ll remain faithful to Himself.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful.
The Devotional Writer
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