2 Chronicles 32-33
“My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline, and do not resent His rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in.” —Proverbs 3:11-12
Sin cannot be hidden. It may be covered up and lay silent for a while, but in the end it will reveal itself. For example, after David committed adultery with Bathsheba, God’s judgment came down in a whirlwind of war and destruction across Israel. But because of David’s contrite heart, he also reaped a whirlwind of discipline, correction, and training in righteousness.
Scripture warns of a trickle-down effect of sin that gets passed to our children and to their children. Exodus 34:6-7 says, “The LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” This trickle-down effect is one we instigate ourselves, and it is only by repenting and letting Jesus work in our hearts to break this chain that we—and our children—can start afresh.
David wrote Psalm 51 after his adultery with Bathsheba, and he says in verse 6, “Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,” and in verse 10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (NKJV). David takes his repentance from simply being sorry to seeking a pure heart, a renewed spirit. This is more than looking for the benefit of a clean conscience, but going deep into the source of his sin, understanding it and rooting it out. We can enjoy the freedom of a clean conscience, but we need to deal with the root of sin, and to get there, the chastening hand of God will often step in.
Knowing God forgives leads many people to excusing their sin, but this is mere avoidance and leaves the door open to readily falling into sin again. Some may blame their parents, spouses, backgrounds, environments or the influence of others, but this again is avoiding it. We have to reach into the innermost part of our being and do the hard and often painful work of examining ourselves. David writes, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). David is not casting blame elsewhere, nor is he content with a clear conscience; he is searching for truth in his innermost heart so that he will live a life pleasing to God. True repentance of sin is not simply being sorry but allows God to search our souls, and in this revelation of our brokenness, lets Him make us whole.
Prayer: Lord, I want to live a life pleasing to You. I ask that You search me and reveal any way in me that is displeasing to You, so that I may reflect your righteousness. Thank You, Lord.