Many people in the world today say that the Bible has great stories and life lessons to be learned from them, but that they are just stories at best. Other words, they don’t believe real dudes like David existed, or Moses, Jeremiah, and so on. Well, if that was true, just think how the Bible would be written so differently. Anytime mankind writes something about himself, there is a sense of pride and glamour on ourselves. One of the reasons I believe the Bible wasn’t written by man but by God is because Man is not the focus; Man is not on a pedestal in the scriptures. In fact, the Bible puts man in need of a Savior.
Psalm 51 is one of those grimy texts where we can see the fallenness of man and how real David’s heart was toward God. To give some background, this Psalm is David’s confession of repentance to God after he had committed adultery which resulted in a pregnancy, lied about it, tried to cover it with taking Uriah (Bathsheba’s husband) from battle to sleep with Bathsheba, and murder including the baby dying. This was sin upon sin upon sin.
Though there are many things to highlight in this Psalm, I want to highlight three:
2. Though David was already forgiven, He still asked for forgiveness.
This is a critical point. Many believers think since God has already forgiven us that we don’t need to ask forgiveness. They would say something like “the cross justified us, why ask forgiveness if it’s already settled?” But the cross isn’t for us to not ask for forgiveness, it is the basis of which we know we will be forgiven when we ask. At the point of salvation, we are forgiven and as righteous and holy as we will ever be, because it only comes from Christ. However, there is a practical forgiveness and repentance for intimate fellowship with God that sin can still ruin. David realized this, and John in 1 John 1:9 did as well. Repentance is a lifestyle that never ends because we sin everyday, but we know we are His by faith based off of what Jesus did.
3. Though David committed all of those sins, not once are they mentioned.
In this whole Psalm, not once do you read David say anything his sexual immorality, murder, deceit, etc. I think it’s because David knew his problem was deeper than that. This is why he says “behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in my sin did my mother conceive me.” David knew that his problem was in his very nature. The outward sins that we can recognize are just the symptoms of a deeper issue. In verse 12, we see what really needed to happen to David; he needed his heart to continue to be changed as he says “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” When we are not joyful in the LORD and begin to look for that joy and satisfaction else where, that’s when drunkenness, drugs, adultery, and pornography now look appealing. But repentance is not just focused on symptoms; it is focused on our sinful nature and the crying out of transformation to be satisfied in Jesus alone.
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
After making the heavens and the earth along with plants, and every kind of animal, God (eternally the Father, Son and Spirit) made man. He specifically made man unique; He sees His very likeness in us.
One day I was driving with some friends to Houston to do a show and we passed Sam Houston University. If you’ve been down that way, its not hard to recognize the gigantic statue they have of Sam Houston right on the highway. The statue is suppose to represent Sam Houston, as it rightfully bears his image and reflects his leadership and role in the establishment of the United States. When we drove by that statue, it made me call to remembrance what I learned about him in my high school history classes. His image on the statue didn’t make me think of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, or any other epic hero for the U.S, only Sam Houston.
If you’re a basketball fan, you’ve seen Michael Jordan’s statue in Chicago on a pre-game show or maybe you might have seen it in person. In the same way, that statue bears Jordan’s image and makes one think of the great game winning shots he made, his hops when dunking on folks, and ability to lead a team to get six rings. You begin to reflect on who they were or are when you look at the image of the statue.
Lets apply this to the fact that we are those statues for the King of kings and LORD of lords! We are made in His image. That doesn’t necessarily mean physically we look exactly like Him (Father, Son, and Spirit) but it means we have the ability and characteristics to reflect Him and give Him glory with the very breath He has given us. Unlike the animals, we uniquely bear our Maker’s image.
Therefore, in all our choices, words, and behaviorism we need to represent Him. Since sin has came into this world our hearts love to go our own way, and the desire and freedom to reflect God has to be restored. Jesus stepped down from His throne, perfectly imaged God, died on the cross for our failure in imaging God, and resurrected proving to be sinless. He did this to redeem us, make us brand new, and restore us in relationship with God to be empowered to live for Him and tell the world of His holiness and love. May the world not get you confused with who you live for and what you’re reflecting. Grace and peace.
Princeton Marcellis was born and raised in Dallas, TX and still currently resides there. He surrendered his life to Christ at the age of 16 after he attended his first Christian hip hop concert including the artists Tedashii, Trip Lee, and Dillon Chase. Now the LORD has given Princeton a passion for His glory and he just wants God to be glorified and the city redeemed.