David led a fascinating life. God used him in powerful ways. As shepherd, David protected the flock from outside threats and put his life on the line to do so. As a make-shift soldier, David went into battle armed with only a sling, a few stones, and his faith in God. As king, David let the people of God into battles against the enemies of God and against foreign idols.
Of all of these ways God used David, it could be said that David’s failures and repentance is the most powerful. David expressed his sorrow and repentance in deep prayers and sincere confessions that we find in the book of the Psalms.
David knew his failures came from within. It was his own sinful heart and his own ungodly desires that led him to sin first by nurturing a relationship born outside of God’s desire for a healthy marriage and further sinned through deceit, corruption of his office, and ultimately murder though his orders as Israel’s leader. David’s relationship to a person he wasn’t married to in the sight of God and his attempts to cover up this fact led to David to heap sin upon sin as he ran from the simple truth that God had a plan for his life and he wasn’t following it.
David was eventually confronted by the prophet of God. Facing the reality of his sins, David would go on to write these words in Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Ezekiel records a similar sentiment in Ezekiel 36:26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
David knew his failures came from within.
The solution: to replace the sinful heart with a new, pure heart. Jesus gives hope. Jesus redeems us with His blood. Jesus promises us His transforming, renewing grace when we believe in Him, trust in Him, and act on those beliefs about Jesus to submit our lives to Him. We too cry out like David did: “Jesus, wash our sins away and make us clean!”
More than that: “Give us a new heart that we can always be guided by your will for us and your desires.”
This morning, we’ll look at a few other passages that describe the heart and challenge us to be led not by our own sinful nature but to be transformed into humble followers of God and His will.