Vol.XIV No.II Pg.5
April 1977

A Study In The Heart Of Men

Robert F. Turner

(continued from previous page)

God which cost me nothing" (2 Sam. 24:18-25). We are reading David's heart. And even in the sins of David — in times when he seemed to forget God — the divine presence seems not too deeply buried. He ordered the numbering of the people, against the advice of Joab who felt this was evidence of a lack of trust in God. "And David's heart smote him (emph. mine) after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto Jehovah, I have sinned greatly in that which I have done: but now, 0 Jehovah, put away, I beseech thee, the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly" (2 Sam. 24:10). When he was given his choice of punishments — two from men and one from God — he chose God, saying, "for his mercies are great; and let me not fall into the hand of man" (v.14). We are reading David's heart.

His sin against Uriah, and the taking of Bath-Sheba was grievous and inexcusable. Bible records do not spare David in this (2 Sam. 11:); but when Nathan made David see "Thou art the man!" David's heart again smote him. "I have sinned against Jehovah" (12: 13). The 51st. Psalm is his cry for mercy and forgiveness. "Against thee, thee only, have I sinned done that which is evil in in thy sight." He knew that all sin is, in the final analysis, against God. He also knew that, in the final analysis, man has only one thing to give to God — and that is himself. In Psm. 51:17 he said: "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: A broken and a contrite heart, 0 God, thou wilt not despise." How different from Saul, who seemed to think the rite of sacrifice would do. Solomon's foreign wives "turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not perfect with Jehovah as was the heart of David his father' (1 Kng. 11:4) He '"went not fully after Jehovah, as did David his father" (v.6 . It would be a mistake to that there was no sin in the life of David. He freely confessed his need for forgiveness — repeatedly. But the sacred records recognize something in his character that all of us need to learn. Even sinful man can so love the Lord, and devote himself, that God will take notice of that inner longing to be acceptable in God's sight.

This in no wise lessens our need to live faithfully, nor our need for forgiveness. On the contrary, it puts upon man the responsibility to do the one thing he can do "perfectly," i.e., will to do right, "delight in the law of God after the inward man" (Rom. 7: 22), serve the law of God with the mind (7:25), be "spiritually minded" (8:6). Please note — while Paul did this, he knew his condition was hopeless without the forgiveness that was in Christ Jesus. But without this inner resolve, this giving of tile spirit or eart, we can not have the blessings that are in Christ Jesus.

Paul said, "I serve (God) with my spirit" (Rom. 1:9). Again, "He is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God" (Rom. 2:29). Are you a Saul — or a David?? Well know this, God reads your heart; and even the world sees the fruit of your inner character.