Friday, Feb 15, 2019. Sometimes when you see or hear things in our community which are not working well, you could become very angry. This can happen in politics. It can happen just around you, in your neighborhood. It can happen in our schools, when your kids talk about behaviour of teachers or administration. What when you see some behaviour of another person, which is really bad? You could become very angry about it! There are good reasons for this. There is, however, also another reaction pattern: mercy. What is it about?
How to react? …
Let us study a situation where King David, the great king of Israel, took Bathsheba as wife, the wife of Uriah, one of his soldiers. The prophet Nathan came after him to address the evil in his actions. Here is a Psalm about the situation:
1 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. (from Psalm 51)
There are three main elements here in the psalm, and in the whole situation. First, the prophet is addressing the sin of David. Sin is a term used for any behaviour which does not meet the holiness and purity of the eternal God and creator. David is taking away the wife of another man. Also, he is killing this man through putting him into the front line in battle. Murder and adultery are both severe sins, very evil behaviour. It completely violates the trust, truth and love of God.
The second element in the situation is truth and repentance. David is told his sin, and he is realizing it. He is admitting that it was sin and is sin what he did. It is evil against the man Uriah. It is evil against the woman Bathsheba. It is evil against mankind, it destroys reliability and trust. And it is evil against God, who created men to live in love and truth and unity with him.
David is repenting. He is turing around from his behaviour. He is realizing the full gravity of the situation. He is admitting his transgressions. That is a crucial thing in the whole personal development of David, and even the history of faith as a whole. David is repenting!
And, third, God is cleaning David from all his sin. He is washing him. He is showing mercy. It does not mean that there are no consequences at all. There are many. But God is filled with deep mercy. David is restored, and he is developing into the great king which he has been during his life time until today.
God's mercy is always there. But for it to become powerful in our life we need faith and repentance. God is cleaning us. In Jesus and his death at the cross he is setting a cornerstone of this process. In him, we are renewed. Still, faith is needed, repentance is needed - otherwise we stay outside of this process. But the deep mercy and passion of the Lord is there, to enter our life today and tomorrow, to be in our life each and every moment forever! (Roland Potthast) ... further texts