By Pastor Ted R House
The definition of the word "then" is: at that time or a specific time. Remember that definition because it will be important to this article. Now, let us look at Psalm 51. The context of this Psalm is King David's great sin with Bath-sheba. It contains his prayer of repentance along with the personal revival that took place in his heart and in his life. Usually, when we read this Psalm, we concentrate on David's sin. Today, let us concentrate on what happened after his repentance. We will begin with verses 1-5: "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me."
David is acknowledging here that we all have a sinful nature that we struggle with even after we are saved. Verses 6-8: "Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice." When we confess our sin to the Lord, there is joy and refreshment afterwards. Verses 9 & 10:"Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." Folks, when our spirit has been renewed we have experienced true personal revival. Verse 11: "Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me." In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit would come and go.
Are we not thankful that New Testament Saints have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? Verses 12 & 13: "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." Here is that word "then"! "Then will I teach..." After we deal with our sin and get things right with God, there are certain things that will take place in our lives! It is how we know that we are experiencing true personal revival. First in verse 13: "Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee." We will witness for Christ and lead sinners to salvation. As a result, the church will see growth. Secondly, in verses 14 & 15: "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." We will sing and praise the Lord. It is a natural expression of the joy and refreshing that will take place in our life when we have gotten right with God. There will be singing at home and in church. Christians that experience true revival will not stand in church with arms folded refusing to sing with the congregation! No, they will want to sing about His righteousness! When we have unconfessed sin in our lives, it is hard to sing or give praise. Verses 16 & 17: "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 a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."
Last but not least, God is not pleased with insincere sacrifices of righteousness! When we read our Bible just to say we read it; when we sing a hymn without paying attention to the words we are singing; when we attend church only out of duty; when we are merely going through the motions of a Christian life, that is not what God desires. A broken and contrite heart is what the Lord is looking for!