Psalm 51:9-11 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Renew a Right Spirit within me
My church often used this verse as an Offertory hymn. After 40 years of attending church, I can hardly read this verse without hearing that music. I’m humming it right now.
- I want God to make me like new : restore me to freshness, vigor, or perfection
- I want God to make me new spiritually
- I want God to restore me to existence
- I want God to make extensive changes in me
- I want God to do again or begin again a good work in me
- I want God to replenish a steadfast spirit within me
There are many times in my life where I have felt very separated from God. Where I felt there was no coming back from the sins that I had committed. I felt that no matter how much God loved and forgave others, I could not imagine how He might begin to get past the evil I had committed. I had turned from what I knew was right. I recklessly abandoned my beliefs to satisfy my own desires. I was selfish and self-seeking. Sure I hadn’t done what some of those in jail had done, but I felt that those who came to know Christ after sin were more likely to be forgiven. I had known Him since childhood. I knew what I was supposed to do. I knew that the things I chose were contrary to how my Lord wanted me to live, but I did it anyway. I couldn’t forgive myself, and couldn’t see how God could either.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me
This section of scripture really puts into words what I was feeling. Lord, fix my heart. I am doing what I don’t want to do and not doing what I do want to do. Lord I need a clean heart, a fresh start. I need to be renewed, and only You can make that happen. I want to be right with you again. I want to be able to make decisions that are pleasing to you and help me to spread your word. I don’t want people to look at me and think, that’s why I hate Christians, they’re all hypocrites. I want my actions to match my beliefs. I want to live my life for you, Lord.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
The verse right after our reading above, Psalm 51:12 “Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.” brings me hope. Those years when I felt I could never be forgiven for the things that I had done, left me craving the joy of God’s salvation. I didn’t feel like I could hold myself up anymore, and became dependent on my Lord for my joy. He upholds me and He strengthens me. I know now that I am forgiven, not because of anything I have done, but because of His love for me, in sending Jesus Christ to die for my sins. He restored my soul. He renewed a right spirit within me and now I am being equipped to do what the following verse in scripture says, “Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.”