Fri, 26 January 2018
(2Sm.12:1-7,10-17; Ps.51:12-17; Mk.4:35-41)
“I have sinned against the Lord.”
David is the man who “took the poor man’s ewe lamb and made a meal of it for his visitor.” To feed his lust he has feasted on another man’s wife. And he sees the injustice of this; he recognizes his guilt when his sin is exposed. But why has he done it? “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this merits death!” And so David, too, has need of the true King and His cross to redeem him.
What does the Lord say to David as he “lie[s] on the ground clothed in sackcloth,” praying for the dying child he has conceived by his sin? We know what he says to God, for we have Psalm 51 to eternally express the misery of this sinner, and all sinners. We know he cries out: “Free me from my blood guilt, O God, my saving God.” But how does God respond? Is He with him? We know the Lord forgives David – Nathan tells him so – but yet “the sword shall never depart from [his] house,” and he shall have his sin later exposed in broad daylight by his own son, Absalom, who lies with David’s wives in the public eye. Much woe remains with David long after his fall, and really throughout the history of Judah and Israel. He is assured: “You shall not die,” but though his house remain and is fulfilled in the coming of Christ, what pain must be with the king in this time.
If he had called upon the Lord, as He rebukes the wind and the sea in our gospel: “Quiet! Be still!” so would God have calmed his lust upon a word from his mouth. But he “utterly spurned the Lord.” How is it such a humble and obedient king could do such a thing? How is it the disciples are so “lacking in faith” at the specter of the violence of the sea? Why do they become so “terrified”?
Would not we all, brothers and sisters? Have we not all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? Do we not all become awed by Him whom “the wind and the sea obey”? Yet we must come to Him. Yet we must beg His pardon. Yet we must seek the strength of His Spirit, of His Word within us. Yet we must fall to our knees before our priest and cry out to our God – “A clean heart create for me, O Lord, and a steadfast spirit renew within me.” Thus we all have need of cleansing this side of heaven; we have all brought forth children unto death.
O LORD, let us be obedient
as the wind and the sea to your command,
or we shall be overwhelmed by the waves of this world.
YHWH, why should we be so terrified at the wind and the waves? Why should we fear the prospect of death? Do you not hold both the sea and death in your hands, and are you not faithful in saving us when we call to you? Why are we then so lacking in faith?
O LORD, we are not as you. We are weak and sinful men. How can we be strong when we look out and see the depth of our sin? How can it not overwhelm us? You are all good and we have sinned against you. You are only of love, and we are but selfish. How can we stand before you in our misery?
Help us to remember how gracious you are, dear God. Help us to maintain your Spirit within us. You desire our salvation, you desire our good; help us to desire it ourselves, and to act upon that desire.
O LORD, let us not go astray. Cleanse our hearts and our hands from all our guilt and let us stand strong with you. Forgive us our sin and all the effects of our sin.