Psalm Fifty One is Our Humble Answer
by Greg Pike
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If you heard the voice of God coming out of a pillar of fire how would you respond? Psalm 50 was a lesson addressed to the nation of Israel who heard that voice three thousand years ago, but it is meant for all God's people and for anyone of any church. Substitute the word money for burnt offerings and the message applies here and now: the Lord doesnít need our stuff, He wants our hearts. Salvation comes to those who can listen to the question and learn to speak the right words.
51. A Contrite Soul Answers
Have mercy on me and forgive me, O God. I have gone too far, again, and I am sorry for it.
Scrub me clean from the bad judgement that has me chasing desire and false hope. I know I have crossed the line and now I am off the path and lost. I have forgotten You and what You do for me, I have turned my back on the truth and am no good to You or myself.
I see now that I was made like a beast with no good of my own. You desired the truth to reside in me, so You put hidden wisdom in my soul.
Purge my body and I shall be clean, wash my soul and I will be whiter than snow. Make me able to hear the joy and gladness and even my broken bones will rejoice. Look away from my sins and erase my iniquities. Create in me a new heart, O God, and renew the right spirit within me.
Donít push me away from your presence and please donít take the Holy Spirit away from me. Restore me to the joy of your salvation and hold me with your free Spirit.
I will teach others who have strayed the way back, sinners will be converted to You. Deliver me from the sacrifice of my guilt, O God of my salvation, and I will sing your praises to all who can hear my voice. I give You my lips to shout your praise for You do not desire sacrifices, or else I would give it.
You donít want any burnt offering, but rather a broken spirit. The real sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart You will not overlook. When I come to your city of Zion, then there will be time for offerings and burnt offerings and bullocks on the altar.
If ever a Psalm should be memorized, this is the one. We heard Gods words in the previous lesson and here we make the right answer. Actions were wrong, judgement has lapsed and desires went astray. Purge my body, wash my soul and let me feel joy. I am lost, I have forgotten and I have let You down. Look away from my sins, erase my iniquities and create in me a new heart. Through action, thinking and emotion all together we can come to this new place.
Donít push us away, donít take away the Holy Spirit that instructs us and restore us to the joy of salvation. We teach others, we see their conversion and we are freed from guilt. Our lips will shout your praise, we understand You donít need sacrifices and our contrite spirit becomes our offering to You. This threefold path is our answer, it is the action we take in response to the lesson we learned from Godís word.
Actions are made up of all three: movement, thought and emotion; just as thought and emotion have all three components. We can see this in the world around us if we know what to look for, and we can see these influences in our own lives. This gives us a framework of how to go about seeing ourselves as we really are. We can begin to separate why we act from what we think and how we feel about it.
Itís a third of the way through the Psalms, we have received much instruction and practice, we have come through death to the gates of the holy city and it seems like our real path has just begun. If we can hold on to what we have learned we will have gotten through the action of having a real, lasting faith. Now we can begin the second step of learning how to apply that faith for the improvement of our being. Action, thought and emotion will continue to revolve in the teachings as we go through the learning steps.
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