Create in Me a Pure Heart

Treason, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “1. The offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injury the sovereign or the sovereign’s family; 2. The betrayal of a trust.” Little wonder that in the United States the punishment for treason is death.

But let’s take the discussion of treason into a different realm. Did you ever stop to think that when you sin it is just like committing an act of treason against God?[1] David understood this once Nathan confronted him about his adulterous affair with Bathsheba. Not only had he sinned by the adulterous act, but he went further by having Bathsheba’s husband killed. You can read the whole sordid tale in 2 Samuel 11. 

But once the prophet Nathan confronted him about his sin, David admitted, “I have sinned against the Lord.” You can see the depths of his sorrow in Psalm 51:1-4:

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.” (Psalm 51:1-4)

Isn’t it good to know that we have a gracious God who accepts our sorrow over sin, who hears our confession, and acts with compassion? “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). 

If you are guilty (as I am, as we all are—see 1 John 1:8), of committing spiritual treason, God invites you to cry out to Him for pardon, for cleansing, for restoration.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

(Psalm 51:10-12)

  1. This thought was prompted by Timothy and Kathy Keller, The Songs of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms (Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition), p. 108.

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