We’re back to the musings of the Zeph team for Zeph@10am this week, after the excitement of last week’s guest curators. That means you’ve got Jenny again….. and we’re back to David and his Psalms.
One of my reasons for focusing on the Psalms of David each Monday morning is because I’m not very familiar with him as a Biblical character. I’ve looked and preached quite a bit from earlier in the Old Testament. I’m particularly fond of Abraham and Jacob. David, coming later in the chronological timeline has had less attention paid to him.
Like it sometimes is with really well known films, you know the major story points even if you haven’t see the film. I was pretty much an adult before I saw any of the Star Wars films, but it was no great shock to find out that Darth Vader was Luke’s father.
I was a bit like that with David. I was familiar with the major stories – the young David killing Goliath, David the musician soothing Saul, David and his deep friendship with Jonathan, David finally becoming king. I was less familiar with all the bits in between – David the leader of a large militia, David the refugee in Gath, David moving the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.
Today’s bit is one of the familiar bits – and would make for uncomfortable reading for David if he was sat here next to me.
While strolling on the palace roof, he spies a woman taking a bath. Here we see Failure Number 1. Instead of quickly removing himself, and giving her a bit of privacy, he sends someone to find out who she is. Failure Number 2 follows, as he invites her to the palace even though he has been told that she is married. Failure Number 3 quickly follows that and as a result Bathsheba (for that was her name) falls pregnant. By my reckoning that’s clocked up lust, covetousness, and adultery.
To try and cover up these Failures, David attempts Failure Number 4 – falsehood – bringing Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, back from war to try and make it seem like he is the father of the unborn child. When that doesn’t work out as planned, David moves on to Failure Number 5 – murder – albeit by the hand of the enemy.
Lust, covetousness, adultery, falsehood and murder all in one chapter. Yep, I’d be squirming in my seat too, David.
Nathan, the prophet, confronts David with what he has done. Sometimes we all need someone who has the courage to tell us when we’ve messed up. Stop and thank God for the people in our lives who are willing to tell us what we need to hear sometimes.
David’s response is Psalm 51. You might want to have a read of it now.
During lockdown my mum has been doing a lot of spring cleaning. Walls, skirting boards and ornaments have all had a wash or a dust. There’s been two particular occasions when she has made particular comment on how dirty something was. One was some silk flowers that had become really dusty. After cleaning each leaf with a damp cloth, she posted a picture on Facebook to show just how much the colours had been dulled by the dust. The other occasion was after she had washed the living room walls. She commented how much brighter the room was, and how she had forgotten that the wallpaper had flecks of glitter within it. The dirt that had built up had covered them, but now they could shine again.
David’s life had been covered with dirt, dust and grime. It probably wasn’t just those big failures. There were probably lots of little ones too. But the shine had gone out of life. He no longer felt joyful in what God had done for him.
Perhaps there’s things in your life (hopefully not the catalogue that David racked up) that are covering up the colours of who you are, that are taking the shine out of life. Take a moment to tell God about them, and ask forgiveness.
This Psalm is definitely not a cheery one – again – but actually there’s a huge truth in it that does make me smile.
God is even better than my mum at spring cleaning.
God can take someone whose sin escalates from lust to murder in a few lines of text, and forgive them. As it says in verse 7, “Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” God can deal with all that and make us clean and shiny again.
Have a listen…. And have a chat with God… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkqJHUJlKVM
God created us to be a bit like my mum and dad’s wallpaper. We’re designed with metaphorical bits of glitter that are there to reflect God’s light and love into the world. When we get overwhelmed by the things that we’ve done wrong; when we’re feeling distant from God; when we’ve been covered with the metaphorical dust and grime of life; we don’t do that so well.
Let’s be thankful for a God who cares for us enough to roll up His sleeves and clean all that dirt, dust and grime away, so we can get back to reflecting His light and love into the world.
Go, Zephpeeps, and be shiny!