Day 2: Psalm 51:1-4by Dr. John Perkins

Psalm 51 records David’s brokenness over his sin. He was broken and contrite. He was crushed in his spirit to think that he had done something so vile against another human being. He had used his power to take advantage of another person; and he had compounded that sin by killing an innocent man. He understood that a sin against any person is a sin against God. Yet he was desperate to be right with God again. At the same time, he was humbled to think that he could ever be right again with a holy God because of the things he had done. This is the beauty of brokenness. It is a tool that God uses to draw us back to Himself.

David’s brokenness over his sin is a model for us. I’m afraid that we’ve lost a sense of shame and regret over our sin. We rarely even use the word “sin” anymore. We talk about making mistakes, coming up short, telling white lies. But God calls it all sin and it grieves His heart. While it does not change His unconditional love for us, it does disturb our fellowship and friendship. But when we acknowledge our sin and cry out to Him, He forgives. As Francis Chan puts it, that’s crazy love! He writes our sin in the sand where the winds of forgiveness can wash it away!

When Vera Mae and I read the story of David together, I began to feel and remember those sins that I committed after we first got married. There was a period of time early on, right after I came back from the army, when I wasn’t acting like a husband should. I was unfaithful. I was not true to my vows, and my actions brought Vera Mae so much pain. Just reading the story called my sins back into my memory. I grieved them all over again. Vera Mae forgave me and committed herself to loving me as a wife does her husband. I still think about that now, especially in these last days as I get to take care of her. It is an undeserved privilege. This is the point where I connect with David the most. I wake up every morning grateful that God would love me in spite of my past. That He would be my friend in spite of the fact that I continue to sin. I’m almost afraid that I will take His love and His friendship for granted, and I don’t ever want to do that.

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