Today we are faced with a very beautiful and very deep prayer from King David, he prays thus in Psalm 51, in verses 13 and 14: " Do not drive me away from you, do not take away your Holy Spirit from me. Give me back the joy of being saved, support me with a generous spirit."
David makes this prayer after being confronted by the prophet Nathan, who very intelligently and appealing to the imagination of the artist who is David, brings him inside himself to reveal his fault.
Remember that he tells her about a poor man who has nothing but a little sheep, a sheep stolen and killed by a rich man who would rather take the poor man's only sheep than offer his own. . The prophet Nathan thus pictures the sin of David who slept with Bath-sheba, a woman married to Uriah; and after she becomes pregnant, after having tried to disguise his fault, he goes so far as to arrange the death of this Urie.
David answers this to Nathan: "I have sinned against the Lord, and Nathan said to David: The Lord forgives your sin and you shall not die."
This is a story found in 2 Samuel 12-13. When we listen to David's reaction, we realize that what makes David this man whom the Bible describes as "a man after the heart of God" is not his perfection, it is not that he never fell into sin, the proof: the story we have just read.
What makes him a man after God's heart is the speed of his repentance after sinning and the understanding that he sinned against God in the first place. It is true, he does not claim to be innocent. He does not play the role of victim by accusing others.
There is a difference between regret and repentance, regret at having been caught, at having been found out, but repentance involves the awareness of having grieved God.
Note that David's sin committed today would certainly earn him God's forgiveness, but also years of imprisonment; as I said last week, forgiveness does not always erase the need to undergo justice. Certain faults have a catastrophic consequence on life and require justice to be done. Moreover, the child that Bathsheba was carrying, David's child, will be born and then die.
To come back to David's prayer, it gives you to understand what sin produces and how much it alters your relationship with God. David prays "do not drive me away from you", because sin distances you from God; not necessarily that God rejects you but you hide from God, you no longer speak to him, just like Adam and Eve hid in the garden.
David continues: "Don't take your Holy Spirit away from me", because sin makes you no longer feel his presence, you no longer hear him.
He says again: "Give me back the joy of being saved, the joy of my Salvation", sin steals your joy which is your strength, the joy of the Eternal will be your strength.
And finally: "Support me with a generous spirit", sin makes you doubt the tomorrow, the future, the assurance of God's plan for your life and you say: "Am I going to be able to stand firm from now on , when I have proof that I can do the unthinkable?
Pray! And let the Lord show you what he expects of you. Be someone who is not afraid to repent. Understand God's forgiveness, knowing that no one deserves this forgiveness. It is grace and the Cross that redeem us and save us.
And if you are there, perhaps in prison because of what you have done and of the justice which demands reparation and to which we must submit, you must know that your debt with regard to the justice of the men does not stand in the way of God's forgiveness. There is no fault that is inaccessible to the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.
Of course, I'm not talking about the unforgivable fault that the Bible cites and which still today causes a lot of ink to flow, but that is not the subject of my sharing today.
Be richly blessed, renewed and restored.
See you soon.
gabriel alonso (article originally published February 16)