“Make Zion the place you delight in, repair Jerusalem’s broken-down walls.” Psalm 51.18
David’s prayer of confession to God, about his affair with Bathsheba, ends on a puzzling note. Are David’s words “make Zion…” a request of hope, demand of arrogance, or statement of promise? I find David’s life a model to learn from so the answer to the question is critical to one’s approach to God.
David’s prayer came after a sequence of events similar to many in my own life. A decision made of selfish desire, not of faith, is thrown out in the open for all to see. The rationalization and human logic justifying the decision fails the light of day test. With the realization of failure now clear, a response is one of humble confession.
In my own life, living perfect continues to be an illusive dream. Failures, extremely poor decisions, and weak moments are still a big part of my day to day experience. Frequently I rationalize my actions by blaming anyone but myself or using circumstances to convince myself that there was no better alternative. At times, I roll on with my deception to convince myself that my act of being self-centered is actually an act of faith. God’s response is to touch my illusions with moments of grace. God’s grace brings light, hope, and love to every situation and my motives and purpose become absolutely clear.
In this moment, one faces an important decision point. Do I take a defensive posture and work to justify my actions or do I follow the consistent Biblical model as shown by David, Peter, and many others? Do I defend my god of self or will I rely of the God of David?
David confessed his failings to God, acknowledge the depth of his arrogance, and ask for help. David’s final request was for God to make his home in Israel again.
Request of hope? Yes.
Demand? Yes, not of arrogance, rather a petition based on God’s character.
Statement of Promise? Yes, of experience as well.
God’s gift to each.