Preparing the Heart for Revival – Part 2

King David’s Most Painful Psalm

Psalm 51

Oct 1 2017 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (Psalm 51:10-12; Isaiah 59:1,2)


A.    This is not going to be the most popular message – because it is about the heart!

B.     I have this sense that, in my life, and in our church…


1.      We need revival as Christians

2.      We need something that restores joy and energy/passion in our lives

3.      Something that overwhelms the disappointments and disasters of life

4.      We need something that upholds us, when we get discouraged


C.    Psalm 51 is one of the most incredible responses to spiritual apathy and sluggishness

D.    Listen to David’s requests in just this one Scripture (Ps 51:12)


1.      To get his JOY back – to experience the joy he had when he was saved, born again, converted

2.      And to get encouraged


E.     There is nothing wrong with God folks!


1.      It’s our fellowship/closeness to God that is not working well

2.      What clogs our fellowship with God is OUR sin, and our getting accustomed with it (Psalm 51:10; Isaiah 59:1,2)!

3.      And, It’s the getting used to sin that worries me the most!


F.     If we are going to have any kind of revival, and work of God in our midst, we all have to pay attention to David’s journal known as Psalm 51, and do as HE did! Because it is the foundation of a close relationship with God – a clean heart!

G.    Also, if you cannot make this Psalm speak of YOU, then you have sealed your own destiny – you are hard, cold, and more in need of revival than everyone else in the entire world!


II.    Background – What Happened to David?


A.    How David Got in Trouble with God (2Samuel 11:1-5,14-17,26-27; 12:1-7)


1.      David was bored - Boredom started it all

2.      Looking for lust - there are many different kinds of things we lust for. AND, there is plenty of sinful things to SEE and DO these days!

3.      Adultery was his thrill

4.      Cover-up

5.      Murder of a good man, Uriah – how far will YOUR boredom take you?

6.      9 months went by – no concern about the sin he had done and become used to


a.       You say how do I know it was 9 months?

b.      Because all the time that Bathsheba was pregnant, up until the birth, David was quite fine with himself


7.      Then Nathan rebuked him (12:1-7) – exposed his sin – parable of the rich man robbing a poor man’s lamb to feed a travelling salesman


a.       And it broke David

b.      And David watched as his newborn son suffered and died


B.     By the way, this wasn’t the only time David was in in trouble with God… (Psalm 32:1-5)


1.      Don’t get the idea God’s people don’t fail, or battle with temptations just like everyone else

2.      Whether you admit it or not, 1Cor 10:13 is still very true!

3.      David battled with the sin of anger, bitterness, the desire to quit, to blame

4.      Just because you may not be battling with the same sins as David, or someone else at the moment, doesn’t mean that your heart is not in need of cleansing!


C.    The worse thing about it was that HE JUST DIDN’T CARE! He went on for 9 months without any guilt, no sorrow about what he had done – perfectly fine!

D.    But Psalm 51 shows the best way to work through spiritual lethargy, and future judgment

E.     What follows is How David got right with God, and how Israel experienced revival time and time again!


III. Last Week - How David Got Right with God (Psalm 51) – After getting SO wrong!


At some point folks, you are going to have to admit, like wise old Solomon, that you yourself CANNOT make your heart clean (Ps 51:2; Prov 20:9). It is a work of God!


A.    He Trusted in God’s Mercy (Psalm 51:1; 25:16-18) – His compassion


1.      Appealed to it

2.      Not to God’s justice, or His power

3.      But to His mercy!


B.     He Acknowledge his Transgressions – took responsibility


1.      When someone points out YOUR sins, how do you react?

2.      I’m not talking about the people who only live to find faults in everyone

3.      But when your parents or your pastor speaks of YOUR sin… how do you react?


C.    He judged himself (1Cor 11:31)


1.      As being the sinner – didn’t blame Bathsheba, or the war, or Uriah

2.      As being worthy of even death

3.      Accepted it!


D.    You will only find God’s mercy when you have finally dealt with any sin that you have gotten used to. Period!

E.     And it is then that you can ask for and get the impossible – forgiveness and another chance!

F.      By the way, be careful that some of you don’t try and take the place of God and judge everyone around you! Mark 3:1-6  Only watching others to find fault in THEM instead of in yourself! That attitude made Jesus ANGRY (3:5)! Furious at the self-righteous attitude of people!


IV. Message - How David Got Right with God (Psalm 51) – After getting SO wrong!


A.    David had a Desperate Cry - Listen to all that David asks God for (Psalm 51:1,2,7-12). Took his need VERY seriously!


1.      This was no simple request that David prayed! David’s sin were manifold, and complicated, and affected a lot of people! So he begins to pray and thoroughly ask for forgiveness, and to get thoroughly cleansed.

2.      He asked for MORE than the law allowed! He asked for the impossible!

3.      Destroy MY Record! Blot out my transgression (51:1)


a.       David asks a bold request! To destroy the record in heaven of his sin

b.      That’s what it means to forgive! To destroy the record


1)      He trusted that God does forgive (Psalm 130:1-4)

2)      THAT is the good news of the Gospel still to this day!


c.       Boy can some people keep records!

d.      Marriages are destroyed because of record keeping – holding things over each other for decades


1)      Keeping in memory all the wrong things

2)      That’s what SATAN does


e.       Folks… the reality is, the permanent record can’t be removed or destroyed…

f.        But it CAN be blotted out so no one can read it anymore!

g.      He says this again in vs 9!

h.      What does God use to blot out my sin?

i.        His own blood instead of mine! (Col 2:13,14)


4.      Wash ME thoroughly – through and through (51:2)


a.       This is probably THE most important request of all!

b.      You can ask to be FORGIVEN – that’s great!


1)      But a lot of wrongs were done

2)      A lot of laws were broken

3)      A lot of iniquities were stepped in


c.       So, there needs to be a WASHING!


1)      He did not ask Nathan to cleanse him, or the High priest – they can’t do it

2)      He asked God, the God who can do anything, to wash him


a)      David asks to be washed twice – doesn’t want a sponge bath

b)      Wash me again and again on the inside – a deep clean


3)      Cleanse me – clean up all the mess inside me (51:2)

4)      Make me pure


a)      In my conscience

b)      In my spirit

c)      In my remembrance

d)      No amount of religious, psychological or mental effort will purge away…


i.        The shame, guilt, the memories, the consequences, the scars,

ii.      And the awareness of the sins we have gotten used to

iii.    It is going to take something supernatural! (Jer 2:22)

iv.    EXAMPLE of a cup – easy to clean the outside. Harder to clean the inside because of neglect! Especially when you only want to look good to others!


5)      So, HOW could God make such a sinner pure again?


5.      Purge ME with Hyssop (51:7)


a.       Hyssop was what EVERY man used to paint the blood of innocent lambs over the doorposts of their homes so that the judgment of God on Egypt would PASS-OVER them!

b.      The Jewish high priest used a blood-dipped branch of an Hyssop bush to sprinkle the blood on God’s mercy seat in the temple, and it purged the sins of the entire nation!


1)      The Hyssop was a flowering branch with a bunch of petals that worked like a paintbrush

2)      It was used every year to soak up the blood of the substituted lamb in the place of the sinner so it could be sprinkled in the presence of God (Heb 9:14,22) for forgiveness


c.       Purge from what? What was it that David needed purged, and not just forgiven?


1)      SECRET SINS (Ps 90:8) – no one else knew about these sins, but David, Joab, Bathsheba, and GOD!


a)      The Pharisees were FILLED with hidden sins (Mt 23:25)

b)      They really believed THEY were fine, and everyone else was bad (Luke 18:11)  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.


2)      Sins we are not being honest about – especially to God (Ps 51:6)

3)      Sins we are USED TO in our lives – not convicted about anymore!


a)      So many Christians have been forgiven, but not purged – stains, shadows, memories, lusts still remain

b)      They are still living according to their former lusts (1Pet 1:14) – those old sins still control their lives instead of the walk of faith (2Pet 1:5-9)

c)      What still plagues you? Ask God to not just forgive, but to purge with His own blood. Jesus came and by HIMSELF purged our sins with HIS blood (Heb 1:3)!


d.      David knows there is no sacrifice available to wash away adultery - What is he to do?

e.       David trusts that there WILL be – and there was – in Christ Jesus (John 1:29)!

f.        To purge:


1)      Purge means to Remove all the rubbish and scum left after the cleansing – take it all away, and burn it up!

2)      To clear out everything that does not belong

3)      To scour, scrub, and even burn up old, dead sins, and stains

4)      Like purging a political party of anti-Semitism

5)      Like spring cleaning – throwing away old things to make room for new

6)      Even to DE-throne whatever has taken up residence – tear it down


g.      Purging can reach all the way into our conscience, guilt AND our memories (Heb 9:13,14)

h.      Isaiah says though our sins be as SCARLET, they shall be WHITE as SNOW (Isa 1:18)

i.        Jesus says purging is vital for us to live and produce fruit ourselves (John 15:2)

j.        Warning – our times when we got right, and purging can be forgotten! (2Peter 1:9). Don’t ever forget the forgiveness and cleansing you have received, over and over and over!


6.      I am going to just skim through a few…


a.       Make ME to hear joy and gladness again (51:8)


1)      This is how revival sounds! JOY and GLADNESS


a)      At being forgiven

b)      At being clean!

c)      Like little kids after a bath!


2)      Sin dulls our ability to enjoy life

3)      The pleasures of sin last only a season, and then leave scars, and it takes more and more thrill to bring pleasures

4)      Oh how the Christian should enjoy everything good, and clean, and pure!

5)      And, Oh how the Christian should miss the simple joys of their Christianity when sin has taken over! Your dullness, or boredom with the Bible and church and family and simple things ought to tell you that something is wrong in your heart!


b.      Give ME hope in spite of my brokenness (51:8)


1)      David has been defeated like a man whose bones have been broken, and cannot walk nor fight anymore

2)      Says, God, you win

3)      Now heal me, raise me up – give me hope that I am not done for

4)      Yes, God seeks to break you, but through it to restore you!


c.       Look away from MY sins (51:9)


1)      What an impossibility! God sees everything I have ever done and ever will do!

2)      Yet… David asks God to not notice them anymore – don’t bring them up anymore

3)      Ask God to decide to FORGET our sins and our iniquities (Heb 8:12; 10:17)! “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”

4)      God… would you make it so even YOU cannot find any record of any of my sins anymore (Ps 103:10-12)!!! Because you have blotted them out!


7.      Create IN ME a clean heart again (51:10)


a.       There is that request for cleansing again – the most important need of the heart!

b.      Where there had been LUST and filthy thinking, and disregard for marriage…

c.       Give me back a clean heart! Clean conscience.

d.      Evidently it is possible!!! (1Cor 6:9-11)


8.      Renew a right spirit IN ME – David had had it before (51:10)


a.       REVIVE my spirit in me, and make it a RIGHT spirit!

b.      Not worried about his soul – his feelings/emotions, or his eternal security

c.       Not concerned with God fixing his body (broken bones)

d.      But wanted most of all for his SPIRIT to be made right – able to be right with God SPIRITUALLY!


9.      I’ll Just briefly mention the next two requests for lack of time


a.       Don’t discard ME now (51:11)


1)      Don’t stop using me – don’t fire me, or put me “on a shelf”

2)      Don’t throw me away

3)      Don’t leave me!

4)      Now, you have to understand, Jesus promises to NEVER leave us, or cast us away

5)      But David is so worried about being thrown away onto the dust-heap of history that he begs that God would not do that!


b.      Don’t take away your holy Spirit FROM ME like you had to with king Saul (51:11)


1)      David is terrified of losing the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit in him like Saul had

2)      The holy Spirit is God’s presence in your life

3)      David’s sin grieved God – David had dragged the HOLY Spirit of God into that BED with Bathsheba!

4)      The Lord left Saul

5)      Saul could not find God anymore

6)      God stayed faithful to Saul though – went to paradise, and is in heaven now!

7)      But David didn’t understand all that – only feared losing the wonderful peace and fruits of the Holy Spirit in his life!

8)      And begged God to NOT leave him alone!

9)      HEY! The best thing in your life is that God won’t leave you alone! If He did, you would self-destruct!


10.  Restore MY joy – I had joy before but no longer (51:12)


a.       The joy of my salvation that God gave me – way back when!

b.      The joy of eternal things

c.       The joy of heavenly things

d.      You cannot fake joy!

e.       But sin and Satan sure can rob you of your joy!


11.  Uphold ME with your free spirit (51:12) – Encourage me!


a.       Hold me up now – I won’t rest on my abilities anymore, or my strengths

b.      I will do your will as long as you give me breath

c.       I will lean on you and let YOU be my strength from this day forward!


12.  Deliver ME from your righteous wrath (51:12) – I know I am guilty of blood (murder)


a.       This was his greatest fear – that God would pour out His wrath on him

b.      Many times in Psalms David wrote how he wanted God to bring justice upon wicked men

c.       But here he was right now knowing that God should judge HIM!

d.      So his whole desire is that God would deliver / save him from that guiltiness!

e.       I am so glad for the New Testament! That says ALL of God’s wrath was poured out upon Jesus His Son! Every believer is SAVED from the coming wrath of God!


B.     The Best Thing David Did Was... (Psalm 51:16,17)


1.      Allowed God to Break Him

2.      That’s what repentance is - The right response to the pressures that God puts on you concerning your sin


a.       Revival, answered prayers, getting needs met just do not compare to being right with God!

b.      Repentance is the foundation upon which our closeness to God rests in your life!


3.      You see, David was already saved – believed God, trusted in the atoning lamb

4.      But David had let sin work deep in his heart and life


a.       He had grown used to sin in his life


1)      Had grown cold towards God

2)      Had done things he NEVER thought he would do

3)      And now, was missing the joy, the presence of the Holy Spirit in his life

4)      Wanted to be passionate, excited, fruitful again


b.      So he gave the only two things he had


1)      Not his own righteousness

2)      But, a broken spirit

3)      And a contrite heart


5.      He realised the ONLY sacrifice there was to offer was NOT…


a.       His own death – although I deserve it

b.      Not some ceremonial sacrifice – or “else I would give it” (usually very expensive)

c.       Not even perfect little innocent sacrificial lambs

d.      That would just be too easy and only empty efforts

e.       And by the way, there was NO sacrifice in that day that would take the place of a murderer! He should have been executed! Adultery, Murder, Cover-up are ALL capital crimes that deserve the death penalty!


6.      But the sweet sacrifices of:


a.       A broken spirit


1)      The opposite is a blind, proud spirit that can’t look at yourself

2)      Allowed his own passions, emotions, will to be broken by God

3)      No longer stubborn, hard, fighting anymore – not blaming, criticizing, fault-finding

4)      Just broken - No more fight in him – at least against God!


b.      And a contrite heart


1)      Not yelling, blaming, demanding, arguing, fighting

2)      But very small heart now, weak, defeated – totally dependent upon the Lord again!


7.      THOSE sacrifices that we give to God, move the heart of God towards us!


II.    Conclusion


A.    We need revival as Christians

B.     We need something that restores joy and energy/passion in our lives and in our church

C.    Psalm 51 is one of the most incredible responses to spiritual apathy and sluggishness

D.    How David Got in Trouble with God is probably how you and I get in the most trouble


1.      Boredom started it all

2.      Looking for lust / buzz / excitement - there are many different kinds of things we lust for

3.      Adultery was his thrill – what is YOURS Christian?

4.      Watch out for the Cover-up

5.      Ended up in Murder – how far will YOUR boredom take you?


E.     How To Get Right with God


1.      Appeal to God’s mercy – it is limitless!

2.      Acknowledge YOUR transgressions – take responsibility – own up to whatever is not right in YOUR heart and life


a.       Your boredom

b.      Your apathy about the Bible, and soul-winning, and preaching, and the Bible

c.       Your personal lusts

d.      Your worldly attitudes

e.       Your constant fight with God’s will


3.      Ask God for all the impossibles!


a.       To blot out those transgressions and more – whatever they are

b.      Wash you thoroughly on the inside

c.       Clean up all the mess inside us

d.      Purge you – remove all the rubbish and scum – take it all away!

e.       Make you to hear joy and gladness again

f.        Give you hope in spite of your brokenness

g.      Look away from your sins – forget about them like he promises!

h.      Create in you a clean heart again

i.        Renew a right spirit in you – You had it before

j.        Beg God to NOT discard you nor take away the power of His holy Spirit from you

k.      Restore your joy – I had joy before but no longer

l.        Uphold you / encourage you with God’s free spirit

m.    Deliver you from whatever punishment you may deserve - Chastisement


4.      Allow God to Break you – ruin you if He has to!


a.       Start all over with you!

b.      Just get a broken spirit – Allow YOUR spirit to be broken by God – not stubborn, hard, fighting anymore – not blaming, criticizing, fault-finding

c.       Allow you heart to be deflated - contrite heart – very small, weak, defeated feeling

d.      Present those two things to God – and He will be pleased!


F.     And our homes, and families, and our church will never be the same!

G.    But you have got to look at yourself in all this!

H.    If you are NOT born again yourself, and you want the forgiveness that Jesus died to give you, ask Him right now to save your soul! To wash you and cleanse you!