Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin! Psalm 51:1-2
My home church has been doing a sermon series on King David. It’s been pretty remarkable. David was an extraordinary character; shepherd, musician, giant killer, psalmist, warrior, general, and king. Of course, we know about David’s dark side, too, especially the story of the rape of Bathsheba, and the murder of her husband.
Clearly there are some major differences between me and David. Maybe you feel the same. David seemed to have both higher highs and lower lows than most of us. And yet, I Samuel 13 states that David is a man after God’s own heart.
So, what is it God appreciates so much about David? Is it his courage in Battle? Is it his musical skill or poetic talent? Was it his drive to conquer all the surrounding countries and peoples? I suspect it was none of those things that endeared David to the Lord so uniquely.
Our text for today was written by David in the aftermath of his sin with Bathsheba. This scripture just sounds different from how we often sound after we fall into terrible sin. Notice that David doesn’t blame anyone. He doesn’t minimize his actions. He doesn’t ignore them or recast them in a better light. David does the one thing you and I so often fail to do. He tells God the truth.
Truth is a fundamental requirement of a close relationship with God. God will meet you at the point of your truth. He will never meet you at the point of your fantasies or rationalizations. Truth was the difference between the disciples and the Pharisees whom Jesus so regularly criticized.
If you want to know God, bring Him the truth. If you want to know Him better, bring Him more truth. If you want to know Him completely, become transparent to Him, allowing His heart to shape your own until your truth becomes His.