Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
There are some things man can do and some that he cannot. Man can make things. He can manufacture, adjust, adapt, repair. But one thing man cannot do is create. Only God is the Creator.
At this point in his life, David had been brought face-to-f ace with the reality of his own sinfulness. Confronted by the prophet Nathan concerning his adultery with Bathsheba, he glimpsed—perhaps for the ﬁrst time in his life—the true condition of his own heart. He saw the devastation that had been wrought there by sin and realised that there was nothing he could do. He could not adjust. He could not repair. He could not reform. All of that was totally inadequate. And so, in agony of soul, he turned to God and asked God to do what He alone could do—to create in him a pure heart.
If you and I could see into our own hearts as David saw into his, we would each recognise the same condition. The effects of sin have been so disastrous that we have no remedy. It is no good trying to repair, to adapt, to reform. There is only one remedy left to us. We can do as David did. We can acknowledge the depth of our need and then turn to God with this prayer: “God, I cannot change myself. I cannot reform myself. My heart is corrupted and sinful. Do for me what I cannot do for myself. Create in me a pure heart, O God.”
The ﬁnal, universal answer to David’s cry was provided by the sacriﬁce of Jesus. Through this, the miracle of an ew creation is made available to all humanity. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;t he old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
O God of David and of Jesus, create in me, too, a pure heart!
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