Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Sovereign Creativity of God

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

Excerpt from “Prayer of Repentance for the Mercy of God” – 2011-04-17
There is a story I’ve told before about two guys who were college students living away from home who were talking together one day, and their conversation drifted from politics to sports to ultimately cooking. One of them said, “I got a cookbook once, but I could never do anything with it.” The other one said, “How come?” To which the first one replied: “Too much work. Every one of the recipes in the book began the same way - ‘Start with a clean dish.’” This is our problem with God. Because God is holy in every fiber of His supreme being – and because we are fallen sinners who possess a fallen sinful nature – our hearts will always be dirty, set against God - unless God Himself cleanses it for us.

David prays that God would “create” in him a “clean” heart and “renew” in him a “right spirit.” This is the renewal David was praying for. David has been praying that his old life, his old heart, his old sins would be blotted out and put to death. Yet he still knows his heart is inclined toward sin and evil – and it’s easy to do what comes naturally. David prays: “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” Note that David doesn’t offer to do this himself. In fact, he knows that he can’t; that’s why he asks God to do it. The word “create” in the Hebrew here is the same word used in the first chapters of Genesis in reference to when God created everything. In fact the Hebrew word for “create” it is a word used only of God in the Bible. It means to create something out of nothing. Human beings can duplicate, fashion, arrange, mold or remodel things – but we can never create anything in the true sense of the word. We cannot bring into being something that never existed before. But God can. And He does!