“Create a clean heart in me, O Lord”
For a few years as a teenager I was a rebel in thought and sometimes in deed. I belonged to the segment of society who were “free thinkers”. We asked why should we obey the laws of the government? We thought ourselves to be above the law. When someone suggested that it was wrong to disobey the rules of the government we would ask “Why?”
We thought that we should live by our own rules. When a person said we should be nice to each other I would ask, “Why should I?” Often the person had a lame answer and would splutter out something such as, “Everyone knowing being nice is best.” I would respond that I did not think being nice was best and liked my rude, hostile way better.
Were I and my friends just a fringe of society and were most people law abiding? I do not think so. When the Police went on strike for 16 hours in Montreal on October 7, 1969, the city experienced its worst night of looting, violence, car racing on the streets and other acts totally illegal. In July 1974, police in Baltimore Maryland staged a strike and similar things occurred with citizens looting, committing arson, and other random acts of a criminal sort.
Some people were taken back at the way law abiding citizens would readily break the law if they thought the police were not there to catch or prevent them. It seems that the law enforcement officials are the only restraint that stops many people from breaking the law as much as they wish. A significant group in society would be far more evil if the strong arm of the law was not there to protect the innocent.
There is a spirit of rebellion in peoples’ hearts that we may wish to deny, but experience teaches us something else. We need some higher authority than the police if we are truly going to be law abiding citizens from the heart. There is a need for us to have new hearts if we are going to obey fully and willingly what is good and just in the world.
The man who wrote our verse today was a good man who wrote some wonderful Psalms recorded in the Bible. But after doing so much good he found himself committing murder and adultery. Even someone who was as fine a person as King David in the Bible discovered a sinful heart inside himself.
So King David prayed to God to give him a clean heart so that he might do what was right in God’s eyes and not what he craved in his sinful state. How vitally important it is for all of us to have a heart to obey God and do what is right in His sight. Perhaps you struggle with life, you may have some secret sin or habit, and are mixed up about how to behave.
You need to meet your Creator by reading the Bible and learn from Him what is right and wrong. You need God to give you a new heart in order to break the cycle of sin. God turns sinners into saints in every generation. He is the authority we all need to obey. He waits for you to come and ask for a heart to follow Him. His invitation is open. Come and come today.