Sunday Matt preached on Adultery. The seventh commandment. It has been a rather interesting series. Not the “Hey guys!!! Let’s go hit up Sandals tonight. I heard Matt is going to be talking about the 30 different ways each of us is committing adultery!!!” kind of message. I love watching my pastor dance around ideals and emotions keeping everyone calm all the while delivering striking blows from scripture that make everyone in the room wince and moan at the same time. It is marvelous to watch. So after the sermon we usually go into a sort of “contemplative” time of worship. You know what I mean. The lights dim. Candles on the Media Shout screens. My voice an octave higher when I speak because somehow it just goes there when the lights go down. Nice and vibey. We thrown in songs that make your heart melt. You know. All in the key of “E” with a short cut capo so you can slide up and down the neck of your guitar making everyone believe you really can play some sort of lead. All that stuff.
So Matt prays. The lights dim. I start my pickin’ in E stuff. I then read the scripture from Psalms where David prays a prayer of repentance and forgiveness. He is begging God to ease his heart. Psalm 51:1-12.
For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time Nathan the prophet came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
1Have mercy on me, O God,because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion,blot out the stain of my sins.
2Wash me clean from my guilt.Purify me from my sin.
3For I recognize my shameful deeds–they haunt me day and night.
4Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say,and your judgment against me is just.
5For I was born a sinner–yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
6But you desire honesty from the heart,so you can teach me to be wise in my inmost being.
7Purify me from my sins,* and I will be clean;wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8Oh, give me back my joy again;you have broken me–now let me rejoice.
9Don’t keep looking at my sins.Remove the stain of my guilt.
10Create in me a clean heart, O God.Renew a right spirit within me.
11Do not banish me from your presence,and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
12Restore to me again the joy of your salvation,and make me willing to obey you.
Suddenly when I hit verse 10 the whole “vibey” atmosphere goes away. You know that feeling. Kind of like when you are having a nice ride in the countryside all alone winding through the curvy roads, not a care in the world. Then you look in your rear view mirror and see the cop car.
I didn’t get it. It took a second. Then slowly I could see the faces of my family before me recognize the depth of that Psalm. Like all these years we have been singing that song around campfires we had no idea the depth of David’s words.
So we began to sing…”Create in me a clean heart oh God…” I could see it. The song was changing right before my eyes. I could see it in so many men’s eyes. The torture they have been experiencing was being released through this old Keith Green melody. One of those times where all the cool catchy vibey crap we try to capture an audience with didn’t matter. A classic from my youth that I would have never played at Sandals while focusing on being trendy. Trends come and go. But the word of the Lord lasts forever. Thanks Keith for that song.