God testified that David was a man after His own heart. This is quite an endorsement! But what was it that made David such a man? I suppose we could point to how David served God without compromise, and how he was zealous for the name of the Lord. He was a faithful man who never bowed his knee to foreign gods. All of this is true, and no doubt factored into God’s assessment of David. But there was one thing about David that was most important. He had an honest heart before God. He was quick to acknowledge his sins and shortcomings once they were exposed. Now, this may not sound worthy of being at the top of God’s list in terms of importance. But consider this: It is an honest heart that allows God to flow freely through us. The Lord will never stop revealing Himself to us as long as we walk with an honest, contrite heart. Our problems are never an issue with God, regardless of how deep they are. Covering them up, or worse, refusing to see our own need, is the true obstacle.
As God brings forth sons many things have to be confronted. If everything is not exposed, then we cannot appreciate the grace of God. And if there is one thing that marks this new level of the kingdom that is opening, it is that all God’s sons have had His grace worked out experientially in their lives.
1 ¶ A Psalm of David. A Maskil. How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered!
2 How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit!
3 When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah.
5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.
6 Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.
7 ¶ You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
9 Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, Otherwise they will not come near to you.
10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked, But he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness shall surround him.
11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones; And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.
We must understand that God is speaking about more than some random sin we may have committed. We are speaking of the innate propensities of the Adamic nature that exists in all of us. We must come to grips with them. Now, some will say that we are now perfect and complete in Christ, that we are now new creations and that to acknowledge anything less is religion. Yes, in provision we are complete, but not in experience. The reality behind “being a new creation in Christ” only has its full expression as we experientially face our Adamic weaknesses and appropriate the grace of God. It is an ongoing experience. We may be “perfect” today, but tomorrow we will be “more perfect.” The actual religious spirit is behind the ones that will not acknowledge their own innate needs. God is limited as to what He can be to such ones. Thus, in a bit of irony, it is those who seem the weakest and have the most problems, yet are unflinching in their honesty before God, that attain God’s approval such as He gave David. The following is the psalm David wrote after being confronted by Nathan the prophet concerning his sin with Bathsheba, and having Uriah, her husband, killed.
1 ¶ To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
7 ¶ Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken
9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
14 ¶ Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.
While the entire psalm could be expounded, let’s focus on verse 17. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” This was the state of David’s heart that God delighted in. All of God’s sons will walk with a broken spirit. This honors and glorifies the Lord. This message lays the foundation for all of the wonderful things we are to experience as God’s purposes unfold for His sons. It is an honest heart that catapults us over all the obstacles we must face along the way to maturity.
4 “Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
5 “For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.
6 ¶ “For the LORD has called you, Like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, Even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,” Says your God.
7 “For a brief moment I forsook you, But with great compassion I will gather you.
8 “In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,” Says the LORD your Redeemer.
9 “For this is like the days of Noah to Me, When I swore that the waters of Noah Would not flood the earth again; So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you Nor will I rebuke you.
10 “For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” Says the LORD who has compassion on you.