Psalm 51: 12-19
"Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness. O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar."
Resolutions That Work
topic: Having received forgiveness, the believer should tell others about God's grace.
After his sin with Bathsheba and the subsequent confrontation by Nathan, David crumbled in repentance under the crushing load of his guilt (2 Samuel 11; 12; Psalm 51). When he repented, David pleaded for mercy and for restoration to fellowship with God. God forgave David and renewed him to fellowship. But repentance and renewal were not the end of the matter. Something more happened to David.
Somewhere beyond repentance and renewal comes "reinvolvement" in the work of Jehovah. In order to put his desire into practice, he made four clear-cut resolutions that would thrust him back into a place of responsible activity. Genuine repentance will always include some resolutions that declare the restored sinner's intention to work for God once again.
Since New Testament days, some Christians have a morbid attitude about life. They promote crucifying self and denying pleasure. They live morosely in the shadow of the cross and the tomb. This kind of thinking is unprofitable. If believers neglect to meditate on the miracle of new life in Christ and joyful service for Him, life takes on the character or an over-whelming burden.
Each of us believers has been cleansed by the blood of Christ. For that reason we may lift our eyes toward Heaven with hope, anticipating great service for God. We must go to the ripe harvest fields (john 4:35; Matthew 28:19,20; Acts 1:8). We must teach the Word (2 Timothy 4:2). We must make disciples (2 Timothy 2:2; Matthew 28:19, 20). We must help strengthen families. We must have sweet fellowship and fill the air with songs as we, the army of Christ, march to victory (Colossians 3:12-16; Romans 8:35,37; 1 John 5:4).
David understood this hope. Although great sin had marred his life, he repented. Then he resolved to reenter service for the Lord. His list of resolutions demonstrates the kind of objectives we believers should form when we find ourselves in simular circumstances.
You will notice that before David stated each resolution, he made a request. He did not base his resolutions upon whims or upon his own efforts. His objectives rested solidly upon God's provision. Before he made a promise, he prayed for divine provision. When we believers learn to follow this pattern, we will experience less disillusionment and greater success in carrying out our earnest resolves.
Resolution #1: Concerning Evangelism
David's first request and resolve concerned his witness to sinners. First and Second Samuel portray David as an outspoken man. He rebuked those who walked contrary to God's will. He taught them the characteristics of a right relationship with the Lord and the consequences of disobedience.
However, sin had silenced the voice of that great witness. David dared not speak to sinners about the waywardness of their lives because of his own sin (2 Samuel 12:14a). Often a man will become soft toward other people's sins when he himself is living in sin.
David wanted to tell other people about God. His mouth was no longer stopped. But before David made his resolution about witnessing, he requested that God restore to him the joy of his salvation (Psalm 51:12). He promised that he would 'teach transgressors thy ways" when that joy returned (verse 13).
After we have experienced spiritual or moral defeat, we do not want to witness. When we know that nothing has worked right for us, when God seems far off or when bitterness wells up within us, we do not feel up to telling others about Christ. We find it difficult to admonish another person to be right with God when we are out of fellowship with God ourselves.
At that point we need to repent and ask God for the joy of forgiveness and deliverance so we may once again bear witness for Jesus Christ. David did not pray for the restoration of salvation. he prayed for the restoration of the JOY of salvation (verse 12a).
David also asked God, "Uphold me with thy free spirit" (verse 12b). The word SPIRIT here probably does not refer to the Holy Spirit of God, but to a willing spirit. He needed the support of an agreeable spirit for God, a spirit responsive to God. Many times when we have sinned and then returned to the Lord, we think we can never witness again. We sit back and remain silent. Our unwillingness to be involved drives us into further isolation (Proverbs 18:1). David cried out to the Lord, asking for both joy and a willing spirit. He knew that when he recieved them, he would become an active witness once again.
Resolution #2: Concerning the Presentation of Righteousness
Before David made his resolution about righteousness, he presented a request to Jehovah for deliverance from bloodguiltiness (Psalm 51:14). He certainly was guilty of the blood of Uriah the Hittite and of other men. However, the term BLOODGUILTINESS has more to do with sins that demand the death penalty than it does with being guilty of shedding blood. David had committed at least two sins that demanded his death; adultry with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah.
David knew he must either be delivered from the penalty of his sins of suffer death in order to satisfy the righteous law of God. He could never again speak of God's righteousness or of His righteous law unless God somehow balanced David's account by removing his guilt. Nathan had told David that certain consequences would result from his sin but that his death would not be one of them (2 Samuel 12: 10-14): "And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die" (verse 13).
David's request in the first part of Psalm 51:14 precedes his promise in the second part of the verse, where he resolved to sing or shout about the righteousness of God. If God would take care of his problem, David could speak openly about God's righteous law and the necessity of obeying it.
When we Christians get involved in sin, our attitudes toward God's righteous standards changes. Suddenly we rationalize our behavior, justify things we know are completely wrong and talk about how unfair or unreasonable God is.
I knew a young man who always did whatever his feelings told him to do. Although he had grown up in a Christian home where his parents practiced and taught the high standards of God, he rebelled at an early age and yielded to various sins. He reached a level of debauchery that took him into the gutter and to prison by the time he was eighteen. Unbelievably sordid stories came back to his parents and his pastor during those grim days of his life.
One day, in total desperation he cried out to God for deliverance and salvation. God granted the request of his heart. Later that man could speak clearly about the necessity of adhering to the righteous regulations imposed by God. Because he had been forgiven, he made the righteousness of God the rule of his life and the theme of his song.
Resolution # 3: Concerning Praise
The third resolution to break forth from David's lips has to do with praising God (Psalm 51:15). When a man falls into sin, he tends to blame God for the problems that brought about the sin or led to the failure. But after God has forgiven and restored him, he desires to praise God for His mercy and grace. Like evangelism and the preaching of righteousness, praise to God must come from a PURE heart.
We may express praise in sacrifice or testimony or prayers. But praise finds its most natural and fullest manifestation in happy musical expression. When God fills the heart with praise, he puts a new song in the mouth: "And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD" (Psalm 40:3). joy breaks forth like the fresh rains of spring. On the basis of His forgiveness, David prayed that God would open his lips so he could praise and extol God for Who He is, for what He has done and for how He deals with men (Psalm 51:15). David selected praise as the most acceptable sacrifice to offer to God because at that time God did not want the sacrifice of animals upon a burning altar (verse 16). Rather, He wanted the sacrifice of a broken spirit from the king, expressed with words of thanksgiving and exaltation (verse 17).
Resolution #4: Concerning Sacrifices in Jerusalem
One final resolution came to the mind of the psalmist. He felt it necessary to resolve to do something about his worship and the worship of the people in the capital city of his kingdom. David's sin had inhibited him in his witness, in his preaching of righteousness and in his praise to God. It had also slowed the building of the city. The people had not completed the walls or built the temple. Consequently, the people of Jerusalem had only inadequate opportunities for worship.
"Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: Build thou the walls of Jerusalem," prayed the psalmist (Psalm 51:18). Because his sin had affected progress in the city, David requested a special blessing upon the internal workings of the city and asked for strength to complete the building of the walls. He resolved that after the people had finished building the walls and God had blessed city, the people would worship Him by offering sacrifices (verse 19).
With his four resolutions accomplished, David could rest. He and his people could again bring glory to the God of Heaven and earth.
Never forget that when sin enters your life, you must recognize it, repent, confess it to God, seek restoration of fellowship available to you and make resolutions that will lead you into renewed service for the Lord.
this was taken from chapter 6 of "Songs That Touch the Heart: Selected Psalms" by John White