David focuses on the steadfast love of the Lord again in this psalm. But he starts with transgression. Love waits on the other side of repentance.
When first reading this psalm, the early portion of it made me think of David and how he hid his sin with Bathsheba. I believe he probably even lied to himself in order to sooth his conscience. He certainly thought his sins wouldn’t be found out. Joab knew of his murder of Uriah but I don’t know if even he knew the whole story behind David’s orders. I have a feeling that Joab might have put it all together though when David married Uriah’s wife.
As with all his psalms, here too, David was speaking from first-hand knowledge. He knew the heart and ways of the transgressor for they were his ways for a time too.
I find the quick shift from focusing on the transgressor to the Lord interesting. There is no smooth transition. There isn’t even a rough transition. One ends and the other begins. As is so with sin. IMMEDIATELY on the other side of sin is God’s love. As SOON as man repents God is waiting with open arms.
He is actually waiting with open arms even while we are in sin but we can’t get to Him until we lay that sin down. An image of a dog with a BIG stick in his mouth, trying to get through a doggie door springs to mind. The door remains as it always has been, with the same requirements for entry. The dog has to choose to lay down the stick before he can pass through into the warmth of the home.
After David ‘laid down his stick’ he focuses on the Lord. He remembers the love of the Lord. He recognizes His righteousness and accepts that there is safety in His judgments. God sustains those who come to Him and satisfy his soul.
David shifts one final time in this psalm to speak of his future. He asks for help in maintaining his new repentant state. “Keep the upright, upright.” He does not want to fall back into sin through his own arrogance or by the enticement of others. For he knows what waits for a man when he abandons God. “There the evildoers lie fallen; they are thrust down, unable to rise” (verse 12).
God’s steadfast love waits for ALL of us, just beyond our sin. That love is worth turning loose of whatever is keeping us away from Him. It will kill us in the end if we cling to it.
One of the amazing things Jesus’ sacrifice did was allow Him to reach out to us and help us ‘put the stick’ down. Jesus didn’t wait for the sinner to become clean before He reached out to him. He helped him rise above his sin and then brought him to the Father. He was the ‘Physician for the sick.’ However, Jesus DID wait for the sinner to become ready to put down his sin before ‘taking it’ from him. The heart had to desire help first before He could help. He doesn’t ‘pry’ the ‘stick’ out of anyone’s mouth or play ‘tug of war.’ He waits with his hand out for us to give it to Him in exchange for something MUCH better. Something that we can carry with us into God’s presence.
Lord Jesus, help me drop EVERYTHING that separates me from God. I want nothing to hold me back from our Father. Remind me again how that sin keeps me from Him if I try and pick it up again. Thank You for Your patience and for making the way for me in the first place.
Holy Spirit, thank You for the dog analogy. It may sound strange to others but it speaks to me. I can see Paisley (my dog) at the door, demonstrating the point You would have me take from today’s time with You.
Father God, thank You for Your steadfast love that made even today possible. If it weren’t for You reaching out to man in SO MANY ways I would not be here today. I wouldn’t know the joy of being Your child. THANK YOU that You NEVER gave up on us! Even when the ‘stick’ looked like so much more fun. Bonfire time is coming!!! BURN THOSE STICKS!