In the 17th century, a young man named John Newton lived in England. Although he was taught about Christian discipline in his early childhood by his mother, he became a rebellious young man following the death of his mother. He learned sailing skills from his father, although his stubborn nature leads to him getting punished. When John Newton served as a ship’s captain, he steered against an enormous storm, at that moment he experienced the mercy of God that saved his life and the ship. He started realizing how the grace of God led his life. He became a preacher in England, with a renewed spirit, he wrote the popular hymn – “Amazing Grace.” This hymn is used in many churches and the U.S military.
When we read 2 Samuel 11, we see that King David craftily killed Uriah who was a faithful soldier in David’s army and took Uriah’s wife by misusing his power. David’s actions displeased God, He sent Nathan the prophet to express the Lord’s thoughts to king David. On hearing the Lord through Nathan, David recognized he had sinned against the Lord (2 Samuel 12:13). King David begged for God’s mercy, he felt that the presence of God had left him. He repented deeply for his sin. He cried, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me”.
David’s predecessor King Saul also disobeyed God. The Prophet Samuel was sent by God to tell Him about his disobedience. King Saul recognized his disobedience (1 Samuel 15:22-24). However, in the latter part of his life, he did not allow God to renew his heart and did not have the realization of God’s mercy.
In Psalms 51, we can easily understand how deeply King David repented for his sin and asked God to change his heart because he knew that God will not reject a broken and contrite heart. King David could not step forward in his spiritual relationship with God without fixing the convicted sin in his life.
As children of God, we need to examine our spiritual life to check where we have disobeyed God and displeased Him. Our compassionate Lord is ready to listen to the prayers that come from an honest heart and he will surely renew such a heart.
Dear Loving Father God I pray for the forgiveness of my sins and help me to have a heart that is open to listen to you when it convicts me of repentance of my sins. I ask for a repentant heart like David and the renewing of your spirit within me. Amen.
Psalms 51:10 NKJV.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.