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  • Writer's pictureGODVERSITY

Create In Me A Clean Heart


Psalm 51:10 .is one of the few psalms where we are given the historical background. The inscription reads, "A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba."

That identifies clearly for us the incident out of which this psalm arose. It was the time when David the king became involved in the double sin of adultery and murder. And it is interesting that David himself records this sin for us. David entered into an adulterous relationship with Bathsheba later, when he learned that she was expecting a child, he panicked and tried to cover up his actions. David knew that ultimately his sin would be found out so he took another step.

That is always a trademark of sin it leads you on deeper and deeper into its abyss, farther than you ever intended to go.

Before the king knew it, he found himself forced into a desperate attempt to cover up his evil. He ordered Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba, to be put in the forefront of the battle where he would most certainly be killed. And when news of Uriah's death reached King David he felt he was off the hook, he had safely covered his sin.

But his conscience continued to haunt him.

Do you remember Edgar Allen Poe's story, "The Telltale Heart"?

In that story, the main character committed a murder and he buries the body of the victim in his basement. But the murderer is unable to escape the haunting guilt of his deed. He begins to hear the heartbeat of his dead victim.

A cold sweat pours over him as that heartbeat goes on and on, relentlessly, getting louder and louder. Eventually, it becomes clear that the pounding which drove the man mad was not in the grave below but in his own chest.

  • You get the sense that is how David felt.

  • The guilt he felt became unbearable.

  • Sin that haunt you.

God loved David so much that he was not going to let him continue to damage himself and his entire kingdom by this hidden sin. So what did God do; God sent the prophet Nathan to David. When David was confronted, he acknowledged the terrible sin. He fell on his face before God and out of that experience of confession we received the beautiful 51st Psalm.

There are several things that I want us to notice as we focus on verse 10, where David writes:

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10).

First and foremost. There is a Need in Our Lives For Cleansing.

There is a story of two bachelors who were talking one day, and their conversation drifted from politics to sports to of all things cooking. One of them said, "I got a cookbook once, but I could never do a thing with it."

The other one said, "Too much work was it,?"

The first one replied, "Yeah, it sure was. Every one of the recipes began the same way. 'Take a clean dish.'"

The problem with our relationship with God is much the same.

God says, "Take a clean life", and we go, "What! Hold on,there could be a problem here. Why? Because, Paul tells us in Romans 3:23 ,

"All have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

We have all sinned; we all are in need of forgiveness. The concept of forgiveness, of being made right with God, is pictured in the Scriptures in many different ways,

Sometimes as a new birth, or the crossing out of a debt, or the breaking off of a heavy chain.

But the picture of forgiveness that David uses here in Psalm 51 is perhaps the most common picture throughout the word of God. He describes forgiveness as a cleansing. "Create in me a clean heart, O God."

A few verses earlier, David wrote, BIBLE "Wash me thorough and through from my wickedness; and cleanse me from my sin." (Psalm 51:2). And then in verse 8, "Purge me from my sin and I shall be pure; Wash me, and I shall be made clean indeed." (Psalm 51:8).

Friends, sin is dirty, it is filthy, it stains our lives. "Purge me, purify me, wash me."


The words David uses implies a thorough scrubbing. And you can almost picture a mother with her child at the tub scrubbing him or her as she removes every speck of dirt.

Scrubbing until their skin literally shines. It is a common image in the Scriptures.

Hear these words from 1st John:

"But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." (I John 1:7)

Beloved .....There is a need in our lives for cleansing. And that Cleansing Needs to Begin in the Heart.

  1. David does not say, ...."Change the way I behave."

  2. He says, "Create .... Create in me a new heart."

It is not that behavior is unimportant. It's just that we must start..... at the heart.

We are only going through the motions if our heart is not right with God. But when the heart is right everything else will fall into place.

In Ephesians, Paul speaks about the change in our lives which ought to take place when we become Believers. Paul describes it as putting off the old man and putting on the new man.

You are called to be made new in your hearts and in your minds." Cleansing needs to begin it must begin in the heart. And it is God Himself who Creates the Clean Heart. David doesn't offer to do it himself.

In fact, he knows that he cannot. When David says, "Create in me a clean heart, O God", he goes back to the language of creation itself to the first chapters of Genesis.

The word "create" used here in Psalm 51 is the very same Hebrew word used in Genesis. In fact, it is a word used in the Scriptures only of God.

It means to create something .....out of nothing. Only God has the power to speak things into existence. So it is not surprising that when David wants a clean heart, he says, "Create in me a clean heart, O God."

Only God can do it.

Only God has the ability to take a heart of sin and create a new one. And The Scriptures are clear... "We are a new creation in Christ Jesus."

People try to deal with their sin their guilt in a number of different ways. Some try to cover it up with a lot of good works, thinking "If I do enough good deeds, I can balance the scales in my favor."

But good deeds will not remove guilt.

On Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, it is customary for Jews to go to a body of water to pray, and to throw bread crumbs onto the water, so the fish can symbolically eat their sins.

But that will not take away the guilt. That will not remove the sin. Only the sacrifice that Jesus offered on the cross can take away sin, guilt, and shame.

Create in me a clean heart, O God.

Friends, we must have an attitude that allows God to change our heart.

Notice how David prepared himself before he asked God to create in him a clean heart:

There was contrition.

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart. These, O God, you will not despise." (Psalm 51:17).

David truly was contrite. To be contrite means that our inner self is crushed. It does not mean that we merely feeling bad or remorseful about sin. It means that we have a determined desire to do differently.

I read about a man who wrote a letter to the Internal Revenue Service stating, "I haven't been able to sleep lately because last year, when I filled out my income tax forms, I deliberately misrepresented my income. I am enclosing a check for $50.00, and if I still can't sleep, I'll send you the rest."

Now that is not an attitude of contrition. Our tendency is to rationalize explain excuse defend or justify our sin. A contrite heart does not seek to blame circumstances on other people or on God. You do not see David blaming God or Bathsheba. Yet we hear blame all the time.

  • "Everyone else is doing it."

  • "I'm just treating them the way they treat me."

  • "It's not personal, it's just Business."

  • "It's not my fault. The devil made me do it."

  • "If They're Not Apologizing, Neither Am I!"

  • "It's only the IRS."

If we ever hope to have a clean heart, there must, be true contrition. And contrition is closely followed by confession.

David confessed his sin to God, "Against you, you only, have I sinned."

Solomon said, "He who covers their sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy." (Proverbs 28:13).

This is one of the reasons why so many suffer for years because they are not willing to come to the place where they will acknowledge their sin.

They refuse to call it what God calls it. Sin! They refuse to be honest with themselves and with God.

Often after we accept that we are a sinner. We have a harder time forgiving ourselves than God dose. Yet be assured that God does forgive if and when we come to him.

"As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us." (Psalm 103:12)

Create in me a clean Heart O' God. And renew a right spirit within me.

Let us empty ourselves of all unrighteousness and lay them at the foot of the cross.

Create in me a clean Heart, O' God, And renew a right spirit within me. Amen

Friends, we pray that you are convicted with the Holy Spirit and receive God's message in your heart. We are never too late to recognize and acknowledge our limitations and our sinful nature. The Good News is, that Jesus bore our cross and gives forgiveness to all those who seek HIM and turn away from sin. God bless you and your family.


References: We received much insight from a Sermon by Alan Smith titled "Create In Me". Alan Smith's Church: Cruciform Church of Christ, Spring Lake North Carolina , 28390. Authored by: Jeffrey Smead.


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