No Matter How Far You Stray: God’s Love Runs Deeper
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
How far is too far? How low is too low? How deep are the wells of God’s mercy? How vast the oceans of his forgiveness? I believe as Christians we will ask ourselves these questions and others similar to them in our sojourn through this world. As the saying goes, “Christians are not perfect, They are forgiven.” All though, we, as believers have the desire to live a holy and God honoring life before our King. The reality however is that we not only fall into sin, but sometimes egregious sin and cycles of sin. We even at times go to great lengths to cover our tracks and hide our secrets from others. But as we know, in the back of our minds, The Lord can see us. as it is stated in his word, “no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Heb 4:12). and also, “Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:24).
What can I say? “The struggle is real.” sin is a continuous battle for believers. But at times we feel we are losing more ground than gaining in this constant war. Maybe you have fallen so hard that you find yourself going to a place in your mind where you are invaded with the thought that Jesus is so disappointed with you that he should turn his back on you. That what you have done is so bad, it’s pretty much unforgivable. Or that you have succumbed to the same sin so many times, the fountain of God’s grace has surely run out for you. Sin wants you to feel alone in your struggle. It wants you to feel as if everyone else has got it together, why can’t you? But as Paul said ”No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man (1 Corinthians the 10:13).” Let us then look at Israel’s second king. David… A man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).
David, like us, was a worshipper of the one true and living God. Yet to say that David’s sin caused him to face plant on the rockiest bedrock would be an understatement. The laundry list of horrendous sins accumulated by David in this one incident would make a your worst sin venture look like a trip to Disney land. I’m talking about, none other than the Bathsheba incident in 2 Samuel 11.
We’re talking about David seeing a bathing woman and lusting after her, bringing her to his palace, knowing all the while she was married and still commits adultery with her. Then, on finding that she became pregnant, sought to cover his tracks by bringing her husband, Uriah, home to lay with his wife in hopes that it would look like Uriah impregnated Bathsheba. After two attempts his plan did not work. David’s solution? To then murder Uriah. David writes a letter to his General Joab, to put Uriah in the most violent part of battle and to have the other soldiers to fall back, leaving, Uriah exposed as an easy target. To top it all off, David did all of the above sins by means of the authority of his God given Kingly office he received from the Lord. Not to mention that, David must have been actively suppressing conscience and the word of the Lord, before, during and after this incident, since it took a parable from Nathan the Prophet just to get him to think objectively about what he did. David was guilty of adultery, sexual immortality, lust, idolatry, lying, perverting justice, stealing a man’s wife, deceitful behavior, pride and murdering an innocent and man, who had no idea the whole time what was happening.
When David comes to his senses and sees his sin for what it is, we find his response somewhat different than our own. You see, David knew the Lord from an early age. David knew of God’s love and covenant faithfulness. David knew that God in spite of his evil atrocious actions, God, did not want to throw him away. Instead of running from God and trying to punish himself, David goes toward God with a broken heart and tears. He knows of God’s forgiving nature. Was God displeased with David? Immensely. But the Lord was also ready to forgive him as well. When David repented and sought forgiveness he wrote what we now know as Psalm 51. Let us look at David’s words to the Lord in contrast to the depth of depravity and devastation brought by sin.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy, blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
David calls on God’s forgiving nature. He knows that God is greater than his disgusting sins. We, as Christians have the final fulfillment of God’s forgiving nature manifested for us in our Lord Jesus.
We should call on Christ, much in the same attitude of David. While on the one hand being completely broken over the way our sin has offended our Lord. We, on the other hand know that God desires us to come to him when we fail. Even in times of gross and repetitive sin, he desires to forgive us. In fact, it brings him glory to come to the cross again and again. You can’t overcome God’s love with evil and you can’t out sin his grace. So we ask, God, to have mercy on us. Not because of anything in us but because of what is in him. His steadfast love. We ask him to blot out our transgressions, not because we deserve it but because of his abundant mercy. We ask him to wash us thoroughly and completely from our iniquity and to cleanse us from our sin. Where sin increases, grace increases all the more. (Romans 5:20).
How God’s loving heart is expressed when needful children are dependent on him. Knowing that we have not a righteousness of our own but rather the righteousness of Christ Jesus, given to us as a gift (Philippians 3:9). Remember that we have a grace covenant in, Christ, that rests on better promises than the old (Hebrews 8:6). Let us remember that Jesus is a perfect savior (Hebrews 10:14) that he will never reject any who come to him (John 6:37) and he will not lose any that are given to him (John 6:39). Let us remember that, Jesus, has cancelled our debt of sin (Colossians 2:14), and now we have peace with God (Romans 5:1), and adoption as sons and daughters into God’s family (Romans 8:15). Therefore, there is no condemnation for us (Romans 8:1), and nothing can separate us from Christ’s love (Romans 8:38-39). We therefore want to live as Jesus lived (1John 2:6), we want to kill sin in our lives (Galatians 5:16). But when we do sin we have an advocate (1 John 5:1) who is at the Fathers side who intercedes for us (Hebrews 7:25), so let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
The wells of God’s love and forgiveness are never dry for his covenant children bought for him by Christ. David knew this. If God were ever to reject you who are in Christ, then he would be rejecting the redemptive work of his own Son. Let us be like David in Psalm 51. Let us run to God and not away from him. No matter how big your sin. His grace is bigger.