Strengthen your core

Strengthen your core

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. – Psalms 51:10 

Psalms 51:1-12

 1 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.

 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

 4 Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak and blameless when You judge.

 7 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

 8 Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.

 9 Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities.

 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.

In physical conditioning, personal trainers often focus on strengthening your core.  Core muscles include all of the muscles of your midsection: your front and side abdominal muscles, back muscles, and hip muscles. Strengthening your core is one of the best ways to get fit. Strong core muscles make it easier to do many physical activities.

The same should be true in our spiritual conditioning. In him times, a person’s core was called in their “heart.” The heart revealed the character of an individual. The heart was the source from which flowed all emotions, thoughts, choices, words, and actions.

Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

King David sinned, committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband Uriah. David’s heart and become sullied by his failure. What dirt and toxins are to the body, sin is to the heart. David’s horrendous moral failure impacted him greatly. He was weighed down by the burden of his guilt and shame. He was desperately in need of deep spiritual transformation and renewal.

For nearly a year, he thought his cover-up was successful. But when confronted by Nathan the prophet, it became front page news. And 3000 years later it still sizzles.

Imagine for a moment what it would be like to have a magnificent, vibrant, intimate relationship with the person you admire most in the world. You enjoy just being together. You are totally comfortable in each other’s space. Suddenly without warning, your relationship is broken, seemingly beyond repair. How would you feel?

What a grievous and tormenting sense of loss and separation. The heart ache would be incredible. That is where David is at the moment of the realization of what he had actually done. David repented and sought forgiveness, cleansing, purification, and restoration to intimacy with the Father. As a result, Psalm 51 tells his intimate, inward personal struggle as he pleads with the Father for the recovery of his joy and sweet fellowship with the Him.

David was a man after the Father’s own heart. Because of his close and loving relationship with the Father, David knew what the Father was like as a person. He was his best friend. David knew all too well that all sin was ultimately against the Father.

This was the first sin recorded of David’s life story recorded in the Scriptures. By his actions, David ruptured their intimacy. He desperately missed closeness with the Father.

1 Kings 15:5 David had done what was pleasing in the LORD’s sight and had obeyed the LORD’s commands throughout his life, except in the affair concerning Uriah the Hittite.

But there was collateral damage as well. How do you suppose the Father felt? He was also in love with David. Was He angry? I think not, rather the Father’s heart was saddened and deeply hurt by David’s sin. I can imagine tears running down His face. Was reconciliation possible? Yes! Absolutely yes!

The moment David confessed and sought forgiveness, the relationship was restored.

REFLECT & PRAY

So often I have chosen a path of self-destruction. I have unthinkingly hurt those that I care about most.

Father I want the slate of my sinful heart wiped clean. Encourage me to begin anew.

INSIGHT

David knew, loved, and meditated upon the truth of God’s Word. But he had deliberately lied to himself: “I can get away with this.” He lied to the people. He tried to lie to the Father. David’s cover-up was unsuccessful. We cannot hide our sins from the Father and in the end, David’s dark secret was revealed.

Under the Law of Moses, various types of sacrifices were stipulated for specific sins. Sacrifices were performed to cover or make atonement for sin. However, when one willfully rebelled and sinned against God, no form of atonement could be offered. There was no specific sacrifice that could be made to cover it.

Therefore, for forgiveness and cleansing, David could only appeal to the Father’s nature and character of mercy, grace, and love.

Up until the time that David became king, he had gotten nearly all things right, certainly more than most than most of us. Today he is known as one of the great heroes and role models of the nation of Israel. But this is in spite of his obvious areas of failure.

Perhaps his epitaph should read: David did what was right in the sight of the LORD, all the days of his life, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite (1 Kings 15:5).

What an excellent epitaph for David’s tombstone. I imagine the list of my “exceptions” would be far larger on mine.

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