January 09, 2013

Confronted to Confess

Psalm 51:1-10

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.
—Psalm 51:4


It took a special visit from the prophet Nathan to confront King David with the consequences of his sin and bring him to confession. The story is found in 2 Samuel 11-12. David had taken someone else’s wife, and to cover up the sin, he arranged for her husband to be killed in battle. Then it was business as usual for David—until the prophet of the Lord confronted him.

That confrontation led David to write Psalm 51, a confession of his sins. “I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.” The psalm is also a plea for mercy: “Have mercy on me, O God.”

David also asks the Lord to create in him a pure heart and a steadfast spirit to keep him from sinning.

Sometimes it takes a special confrontation to bring us to confession. Perhaps someone needs to confront us with what we have done. Perhaps, like David, we have carried on as if nothing happened. Perhaps we need to confront a relative or friend who does not realize how he or she has sinned against God.

Whatever it takes, we need to come clean, confess, and ask for a new beginning. When we do, we will experience God’s mercy!

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love… Blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin,” because of Jesus. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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