Humble Repentance

Journal Entry // October 8, 2022

And David said to God, “I have sinned greatly in that I have done this thing. But now, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” (ESV)

1 Chronicles 21:8

What is it that reveals the humble heart of David that was set upon seeking the Lord our God? It seems like we are always trying to provide an answer to this question by looking at the wrong things. The books and articles I read, the sermons I listen to, and the teachings that all purport to provide solutions to this question all tend to look for the answer in the visible outward expressions that are revealed in our actions. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to work on our outward actions as they are true indicators of our inward heart and character. How I am behaving reveals the true inward state of my heart and mind. The problem with this solution is that we end up focusing on our outward appearance and neglect the source of our sin, which lies squarely in our hearts. It is the pride of our hearts and mind that sets the agenda. It is only with humility that we can begin to emulate this same heart for God that David demonstrates throughout the Bible.

If I want to continue to deepen my relationship with Jesus and I want to strengthen my faith, dependence, and trust in the Lord, then I must understand the intentionality of David to keep his heart engaged with Christ on every level. I must see that the first step in the journey is humility. A humble heart is the cornerstone of faith in Jesus. It leads the way toward confession, repentance, and steadfastness. How do I see the humility of David in this passage? He simply owns his sin. He doesn’t try to deflect or offer excuses for his sin. He doesn’t try to exonerate or justify his actions. David simply and humbly comes before the Lord and acknowledges his sin. “I have sinned” is his opening statement. David alone has sinned. He is pained to see the suffering of the people that is working its way through Jerusalem because of his sin. David is broken over his sin. He is mourning over his sin.

The beauty of David’s humble confession and repentance here is that he doesn’t just stop there. He doesn’t acknowledge his sin and hope for the best. David understands that the heart of God is a forgiving and merciful God, so he asks for the Lord to remove his iniquity. Later in this passage, David will declare that he wants to fall into the hand of the lord because “his mercy is very great.” David knows that his Lord is full of mercy and kindness. Our God loves us. Yes, he will punish sin and iniquity but he is rich in kindness and mercy. Our God is a forgiving and merciful God who wants to bring healing into our hearts and lives.

So it is humility that needs to undergird my every intention and action. Knowing and understanding my right place in the kingdom of Christ. I too often let the world dictate how I should feel and act. I too often listen to the lies of the world. I must never forget that this passage starts off by saying, “Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel.” I have an enemy that is always prowling and looking for opportunities to incite me to sin. He is looking to kill and destroy me at every moment. He is relentless in his anger. But my holy and precious God stands above him. My enemy can only go as far as my Lord allows. Jesus is the authority. Jesus is my king. Jesus is my healer. Jesus is my Savior. He has already purchased my redemption and has brought me into his family. He loves me far greater than I can ever imagine. When I think I may understand the depth of his love, he shows me more still. The love of Christ is a bottomless sea without any shore. There are no boundaries that can contain and restrain his love, mercy, and kindness. This is the heartbeat of humility spreading throughout my heart. It is in the riches of his kindness and mercy that I am free to be fully humble and set my heart and mind solely upon Jesus.

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