Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence; and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation; and uphold me with Your free Spirit.
In David’s prayer for forgiveness and restoration he asks for eight things to happen. He can make none of these things to happen—all must come through God’s love, mercy and grace.
First, he asked that God not look at his sins. How could God not look at his sins for it was God who exposed them through the prophet Nathan. He is not asking that God overlook or ignore his sins but that God would not keep calling to mind and reminding David of his sins, but give forgiveness.
Second, he asks that God would “blot out” all of his iniquities. You who are old enough to remember “chalk boards;” if one used an “eraser” there was still the residue of the words that you tried to erase and chalk was everywhere but if you took a wet rag to that same chalk board you would rid all evidence (except streaks) that any words were written on it. David was asking that God wipe away all evidence that he had ever sinned or had been perverse.
Third, he asked that God would create in him a clean heart. He wanted no trace evidence of his sin to be held against him. Only God could do that.
Fourth, he wanted God to “renew” a right spirit within him. If you have ever found yourself to be so negative and critical that no one could please you then you need a renewing of your spirit even as David did.
Fifth, David asked that God would not cast him away from his presence. There is perhaps nothing worse that can happen to an individual than to have God say, “Depart from me, I never knew you!” When that happens there is no hope.
Sixth, he asked that God would not take His Holy Spirit from him. Life without the Holy Spirit is a life of spiritual death. It is a life without joy. David knew that all of his exploits were the direct result of the Holy Spirit enabling him to do what he did. Even Jesus, by the Holy Ghost, went about doing good.
Seventh, he wanted the joy of God’s salvation to be restored to him. If one loses the Spirit, one loses joy. Joy is one of the “fruits” that the Spirit produces in one’s life. Without joy there is no excitement in one’s faith.
Eighth, he asked that God would “uphold” him through the freedom that comes with the presence of the Holy Spirit. To be upheld is to be given the strength that one needs to live righteously in this present evil world and to be prepared for whatever might come one’s way.
Since David, the greatest of Israel’s kings, needed all of this from God, maybe we need the same. Don’t allow an unrepentant spirit bind you. Return to God and talk to Him about every error and sin in your life. The blessings are awaiting you, amen and amen.