By Pastor Travis Lauterbauch
David said, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation.” (Psalm 51:12)
He had experienced some sort of angst, peril, or dare I say, dread of condemnation.
Regarding this same event in life, he used more colorful descriptions elsewhere.
“When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long… My strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.” (Psalm 32:3, 4)
Desert-dwellers know the feeling of the summer heat sapping strength out of the body.
David knows this anguish not from the heat of summer, but from the weariness of sin.
The cause of David’s anguish was that he began to do “what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6) and strayed from the Lord’s ways.
This robbed from him the joy of the Lord and the joy of the forgiveness and life he had in God’s salvation. He began to wallow in his own sin.
Thinking sin was the way to happiness, he found himself on the doorstep of death.
These Psalms of David follow the events of his adultery with Bathsheba; his attempt to cover it up; and then when that didn’t work, his plan to have her husband, Uriah, murdered.
They were dark, dark times in David’s life as he caused pain both in his family and the kingdom he was anointed to serve and protect.
The joy of God’s salvation was far from David.
How many people have been there in life? How many know the feeling of being spiritually dried up as by the heat of summer?
It doesn’t have to be David’s sin. Any number of sins or events in life can bring this experience. It may be a sin and its consequences, it may be a dreaded diagnosis, or something else.
It affects the spiritual life, but also brings with it mental and physical anguish.
David realizes his sin against God and asks for the joy of the Lord’s salvation.
Just as it’s available to any sinner, he received it- forgiveness.
The prophet Nathan told David, “The Lord has put away your sin.” (2 Samuel 12:13)