King David’s Promise
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You. Psalm 51:13
Psalm 51 is King David’s heartfelt, gut-wrenching prayer of repentance. It followed his confrontation with the fearless prophet Nathan who had dramatically and publicly exposed his sin.
David had concealed his salacious affair with Bathsheba and then had her husband killed (2 Samuel 11,12). Sin had taken hold in his life and the consequences were severe.
David’s prayer has been echoed by seriously repentant sinners ever since David first wrote it out and includes unforgettable, piercing pleas like:
- “Wash me and I shall be clean.”
- “Create in me a clean heart, Oh Lord.”
- “Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation.”
We would all do well to carefully consider Psalm 51—to memorize it and to meditate frequently on it. It is a treasure chest.
My focus right now is on David’s promise to God—his promise that after he had been washed, after he received his clean heart and after the joy of the Lord had flooded upon him, “then” he would use his experience to teach transgressors God’s ways and sinners would be converted to God.
God answered David’s prayer—he was washed, given a clean heart and filled with joy. In turn, David kept his promise to God:
- He allowed his disgraceful, destructive sin to be fully documented. He did not cover it up.
- He openly shared his despair, his repentant cries and his deliverance.
- He powerfully urged other sinners to learn from this and do the same.
That we can read Psalm 51 and Psalm 32—written later when David was looking back on this experience—demonstrates that David kept his promise.
In writing this blog, I am following David’s lead:
- I have known the despair that lust brought into my life—the vileness of my heart—the lack of joy—the damage it caused.
- I know what it takes to come clean—to repent, to walk in a way that pleases God. I have learned to overcome lust.
- I urge you to do the same. Learn God’s ways. Turn from your sin. Recoil from lust and allow God to create a clean heart in you and to fill you with joy.
- I am sharing my experience with you and others. How can I remain silent? It is too much to keep in. God’s power to forgive, cleanse and fill with joy cannot—must not—be concealed.
David’s promise was wholly founded on his knowledge of God’s character—His “lovingkindness…and tender mercies” (Psalm 51:1). If you need to repent, I urge you to earnestly seek the things that David sought. God promises to cleanse you, forgive you and fill you with joy are real and possible in your life. What is stopping you from doing this?