A Recipe for Renewal pt. 2

This is Pt. 2.

Pt. 1 can be found here.

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David and Bathsheba by Jean-Leon Gerome (1824-1904)

The words from which we derive our English word ‘repentance’ are commonly translated as ‘turn’ or ‘return’. The Greek word ‘metanoeo’ (verb) is translated as “to change one’s mind for the better, to heartily amend one’s past sins with abhorrence”. A related Hebrew term is ‘Nacham’ meaning, “to be sorry, be moved to pity. To repent, suffer grief, to comfort oneself”. I found it interesting that this related phrase alluded to ‘comforting oneself’ in a time when, after committing sin, I would have expected self-loathing came more easily. Why is that? In a culture where most are loathe to accept an ultimate standard of morality, or personal responsibility for sin, there is little to no comfort available from God’s law-code written in our consciences.

To find out how we can find comfort after we have grievously sinned, let’s explore a specific season in the life of one of the most famous kings in history, King David. Do you know the story of David and Bathsheba? Let’s sum it up, right here:

– King David sees a beautiful woman, Bathsheba, bathing on the roof of her home
(think Leonard Cohen’s song ‘Hallelujah’)
– David sends her husband, Uriah, to the frontline of the battle where he is killed
– Once Uriah is dead, King David takes Bathsheba to be his wife
– They have a baby
– Nathan the Prophet visits David and tells Him a story and David is outraged at the 
 evil-doer in the story
– Nathan reveals that the evil-doer is King David himself. David is sincerely sorry and repents from his sin

[Read the full story in 2 Samuel chapter 11 & 12 here]

After this encounter with the truth, David sees himself face-to-face in the mirror and is sorrowful about what He’s done. He changes his mind/his ways and famously asks God to forgive him. David throws Himself on God’s mercy and loving-kindness, asking for forgiveness.

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!”

- Psalm 51:1-2, ESV

Earlier in Psalm 32, David says,

“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.”

- Psalm 32:1-5, ESV

David found inner peace by confessing his sin before God. By falling on Our Father’s mercy and loving-kindness, David found comfort for his soul. Were there still consequences for his actions? Most certainly. But David’s relationship with God was restored and his heart was once again alive, drinking from the Source of life Himself.

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This is Pt. 2.

Pt. 1 can be found here.

Pt. 3 will be online next week.