In Need of Cleansing by Jerry Elder
Get your hands really dirty…greasy. Talk about the reason your hands are dirty. Ask your class the following question. What do you think it would take for me to get my hands clean?
As you wait for their response, you will know exactly what you need. You need an agent, a cleansing agent to get your hands back to their original state.
Have a container of water and soap available then begin to wash your hands in front of them. Let your container be clear that way they can see the dirt that is coming off of your hands, and settling into the water. After a thorough cleaning of your hands, show your hands to your class.
Explain to them that while it took something to get them dirty it took something stronger to make them clean. Everyone of us have experienced some sort of “filth” in our life. We’ve all been dirty. We’ve all needed cleansing! Today’s lesson takes us back to an individual who once was a pure individual, yet fell into a time of life when he needed cleansing again. Listen as we hear about David.
As you have seen in this video, David a true believer in God, a “man after gods own heart” was an individual that fell away and needed the cleansing from God to bring him back, to restore him.
It’s important to understand that sin separates us from God, and it is sin that tarnishes us that makes us “unclean”. But it is through the love of God and his son Jesus Christ that makes us clean from our sins today.
When sin separates us it means we have no chance of getting to God. David had separated himself for far from God that it took Nathan to bring him back.
One must understand that we are speaking of building our relationship with the Lord. It has eternal consequences, we control our own destination by the choices we make.
Recognize our sin
David, while sunk deep into the sins that were taking place, (here is a good place to discuss all the sins that were committed) was aware of the wrongs he was doing. The actions of his life were taking him further away from God. When God sent Nathan to speak with him (2 Samuel 12) Nathan used the analogy, of two men with sheep, one was a precious sheep that was like a family pet. The other man had plenty of sheep yet when it came time for a feast, he slaughtered the one that was like a family pet This angered David to the point of saying the selfish man should be put to death! Nathan then told David it was him. David had been given everything, but it was not enough, He recognized his faults, his sin, his walking away from the Lord.
2 Samuel 12:13 he admitted (confessed) that he has sinned against the Lord! The further consequences of the sinned are spelled out in the remaining portion of that chapter. There are always consequences for wrong doing. Think about the sins you struggle with in your life. Are they separating you from God at this very moment? What about your friends that are trapped in their sins. Are you the Nathan that needs to go to them and lovingly lead them back to the Lord? To help them recognize that they are lost, to show them the way back to the Lord!
Repent of our sin
Once you have recognized the sin in your life, you know that you have to do something about it. If you do not do anything about it, then you know that you are hopelessly lost. Repentance is a neat word. It means to turn around, to change, to become something totally different! In this case to repent of our sins is a turn away from the devil and to turn towards the Lord! Throughout the word of God repentance is seen clearly from those who have walked away from the Lord. In the story of the prodigal son and Luke 15, the young man walked away from his family and walked away from his Lord, realized that in his life he needed to turn around, (repent) he comes back home and he tells his father, “I have sinned against God and against you”, he comes home to be restored back to his family.
David in Psalm 51 gives a beautiful prayer to God of repentance and turning his life back to him from the sins that he has committed against God.
As you read those words that says, “have mercy on me, oh God, according to your steadfast love, according to your abundant mercy, blot out my transgressions”. It is here where David begins pleading with God, realizing the sins that he has committed in his life and he is begging for mercy from God for him to blot out, (forgive) the sins he has committed. He knows that it is God only that can forgive him from the sins and that God will forgive him. David knows he needs to make the change to turn back to the Lord!
Restore our lives
The latter part of Psalm 51 tells the process in which David asked God how to cleanse him from these iniquities that he is committed against Him. David says to take hyssop and purge me with it. Hyssop it’s a beautiful plant that has wonderful qualities in cleaning the skin. David says to take that and purge him to make his soul feel clean again. David knew what it was like to be pure with the Lord, to be that “man after gods own heart” David knew how much God loves him, and he realizes that he needs that love at this time. He asked God to let me “hear joy and gladness”, and he says “let the bones that you have broken rejoice!” David was thankful to God to be brought back to Him after all of the iniquities that he did against Him. Again he pleads out to God, for forgiveness of his sins. Probably the most famous verses that we are aware of is from verse 10 in Psalm 51 where he says “create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me” there that David wants that full restoration, to be right with God again, to be pure, holy, acceptable before God. David knows he needs that restoration to be once again be the man after God’s own heart!
We are prideful people who seldom enjoy admitting we are wrong. I believe pride is why we push two or three times as hard in the wrong direction, because we don’t want to admit our wrong. Humility is the exact opposite of pride. Saul was the poster child for pride, and it was obvious. God eventually condemned him because of it. David, Israel’s next king, was the poster child for humility, and it was obvious. God exalted David because of this personality trait.
To be a disciple of Christ means that we are following in the footsteps of Jesus. Jesus lived with the utmost humility. He said in Luke 22:42, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” Regardless of how Jesus felt, the burden he had to bear, or what it would have cost him, he was willing to humble himself before the Father and obey His will. A humble heart will follow in the footsteps of Jesus. If that is not you, it may be that you need a penitent heart.