The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

10/01/2008

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The Story Behind The Story

"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your compassion blot out my transgressions" (Ps.51:1).

In 1971 the singer/song writer Don McLean wrote a recorded a song called "American Pie." The music is quite good, but the words beg for an explanation. In one particular line of the song, McLean talks about "the day the music died." The song pivots around these words. On February 3, 1959, a plane carrying rock and roll entertainers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper crashed in Iowa. There were no survivors. To McLean, this was "the day the music died."

King David had a lot going for him. Look at his history. As a young shepherd he killed the bear and the lion while protecting his sheep. He killed Goliath. He was anointed king before the death of King Saul. He could have killed King Saul, who was trying to kill him, but chose not to. He was a great friend to Jonathon. He ruled over Israel better than any other king. After all, he was a "man after God's own heart." He was even in the lineage of Jesus. But David was also an adulterer and a murderer! In 1 Samuel 12, the prophet Nathan tells him to his face. Maybe David thought he had gotten away with it. In response to the guilt of his sins, David prays the prayer of Psalm 51.

Here is a really hard pill to swallow---we are as sinful as David! Maybe even worse is the habit we have of ranking and rating sins. "Surely my sins aren't as bad as hers." Yes they are....A swing and a miss is a swing and a miss. A sin is missing the mark.

Here is what David did...In verses 1 to 6 there is his confession of guilt. "He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy" (Prov.28:13). Sin keeps us from God,but confession brings us back. In verses 6 to 12 comes the plea for cleansing. Cleansing is a need of human experience. Like taking a shower, the need for another is just right around the corner. In verses 13 to 17 we find the renewal. We would like to go back before the time of the sin and "undo it", but that is not possible. Renewal is what we need.

David's renewal is based on three themes which I think are worthy of study and consideration in these five verses. Sharing his love for God with others, giving praise and thanksgiving to God, and humbling himself before his Lord. Reading them and meditating on them will help us with our renewal....If you get a chance, read and meditate on this Psalm today.

Have a wonderful day...Let you light shine for Him... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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