A Prayer For General Prosperity

When I was in South Africa, a fine, handsome Dutchman came into my service, and God laid His hand on him and convicted him of sin. The next morning he went to the beautiful home of another Dutchman and said to him, “Do you recognize that old watch?” “Why, yes,” … More

Repentance

The sin question needs to be dealt with on spiritual and not ceremonial terms. With his sin confessed and forgiven, David is ready to live a changed life for his Lord. His first responsibility is to teach transgressors the ways of God so as to prevent their making the same mistakes (v. 13). It is a great help when counseling others if we can say, “I know what you’re going through, I have been there myself.”

David’s lips, by his own stubbornness, had been sealed for a year as he refused to admit he had done anything wrong. He was a king and thought he could do as he pleased. David had committed adultery and murder and the Mosaic law allows no reconciliation for these sins. No lamb, no ox, no sin offering, no trespass offering or no burnt offering could take care of this sin. God does not want a show of ceremony when we sin. Rather He delights in a broken heart and a personal confession of sin (v. 17). “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

David knew that he must get right with God if Israel was to be blessed. As he continued to keep his mouth shut his wickedness pressed down upon him and he knew that if he spoke about the things of God people would call him a hypocrite. With this in mind he concludes his personal prayer of repentance with a prayer for God’s blessing on his nation (vv. 18-19).

Application

One of the best ways for me to understand repentance is by reading the prayers of those who did repent in Scripture. One such prayer is Psalm 51.

Psalms 51:14-19 (English Standard Version)

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem; then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »