Did you ever take a look at your filthy house and become so overwhelmed at the thought of cleaning it that it occured to you that it would be easier and better if you just moved to a new house? No, me neither. Okay, yes, I have. I’m sure all of you are better housekeepers than I am. I have many fine qualities, but neat-as-a-pin and floors-so-clean-you-can-eat-off-of-them are not among them.
Okay, I’m not THAT bad of a housekeeper. But I hate to clean house and when cleaning does get put off and starts to get really dirty it just makes it that much harder for me to get started, much less finish. It really does seem like moving would be a good option, at least until I remember how much trouble and work (not to mention expense) goes into moving.
Let’s try again, did you ever burn a pan really badly and it was just never truly clean again? Maybe after hours of elbow grease and caustic cleaning products you finally got the burned gunk off the pan, but the pan never worked as well as it did before you burned it. Something happens when you seriously burn a pan. It changes the pan. It will never be the same.
But getting rid of a pan, even what used to be a really good pan, is one thing. A heart is another matter entirely. Or is it?
Psalm 51 was written by King David after he did something bad, really bad. It was actually several things including sexual assault, murder, and plain old fashioned lying. Somehow he seemed to think he was entitled to do all these things, because he was king I guess. I don’t know. But eventually the prophet Nathan confronted David about it, and after that David repented.
Psalm 51:12 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.”
Most of us haven’t done quite as much sinning as David did, at least not in one year. But most of us do know what it is like to be confronted with our sin whether we are confronted by another person or by our own conscience. That kind of confrontation is unpleasant to say the least.
It often feels so bad that we believe that we can’t be made clean again. In Psalm 51, David didn’t ask to be washed clean. He asked God to give him a whole new heart that bore no lingering trace of the mess he had made of his original heart. He asked God the create a whole new heart and to put a whole new spirit in him so that he could start over.
We love and worship the God of second chances. In fact, our merciful God gives us as many chances as we need. And that’s good news.