“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.” – Psalm 51:12 NLT
Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like you’ve let the Lord down? Where you’ve made consistent decisions over a period of time that have led you to be separated from God spiritually and emotionally? David had a season like that when he chose not to go to war one spring and found himself drawn to the married woman next door. Long story short, he committed adultery with Bathsheba and then had Bathsheba’s husband killed in order to cover up the infidelity.
David wrote Psalm 51 in the aftermath of this indiscretion, but not immediately after. It took a visit from the prophet, Nathan, before David fully comprehended the mess he was in with God. But once he copped to his sin, confession and repentance came pouring out of David in this psalm of reconciliation.
In the midst of this pleading with God to have mercy on him and forgive him, David makes a number of statements where he asks God to give back, renew and restore all sorts of things that he lost as a result of his choices. David shows us that, even after acting terribly before God, we can ask God to restore us. In Hebrews 4:16, Paul exhorts the people to “come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Isn’t it amazing that David, who lived under The Law, grasped this New Testament concept so completely? David had a revelation of the grace and the mercy of God that was arguably unsurpassed before the coming of Christ.
But we have Christ! Because of what he won for us on the cross, we have the ability to come boldly before the throne of God. Christ has secured righteousness, boldness and confidence for us! Even on our worst of days, when we’ve done the worst of things, we still have access to our God. And when we come to him with a repentant heart and ask to be restored, he will do it. He just can’t help himself.