The Penitential


     David repented of his sin, in dust and ashes. He entreated the forgiveness of God, and concealed not his repentance from the great men, and even servants of His kingdom. He composed a penitential psalm, recounting his sin and repentance, which psalm he knew would be sung by after generations. He wished others to be instructed by the sad history of his life.  

     The songs which David composed were sung by all Israel, especially in the presence of the assembled court, and before priests, elders, and lords. He knew that the confession of his guilt would bring his sins to the notice of other generations. He presents his case, showing in whom was his trust and hope for pardon. "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy loving kindness; according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin."  "Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation" [Psalm 51:1, 2, 14].   

     David does not manifest the spirit of an unconverted man. If he had possessed the spirit of the rulers of the nations around him, he would not have borne from Nathan the picture of his crime before him in its truly abominable colors, but would have taken the life of the faithful reprover. But notwithstanding the loftiness of his throne, and his unlimited power, his humble acknowledgment of all with which he was charged is evidence that he still feared and trembled at the word of the Lord.     

     Results of David's Wrongdoing.

     David was made to feel bitterly the fruits of wrongdoing. His sons acted over the sins of which he had been guilty. Amnon committed a great crime. Absalom revenged it by slaying him. Thus was David's sin brought continually to his mind, and he was made to feel the full weight of the injustice done to Uriah and Bathsheba. 

     Warnings in Others' Examples.

     God's reproof has been plainly uttered against men and women who have sinned by corrupting their bodies and defiling their souls by licentiousness. They have the warnings to others placed in similar circumstances, who have been overcome by the tempter, and they know that the displeasure of God rested upon them. . . . God has expressed condemnation of sin in all its forms. The sin of licentiousness is plainly rebuked and condemned. Men and women will be judged according to the light given them of God. 

     Control by Sanctified Reason.

     Every unholy passion must be kept under the control of sanctified reason, through the grace abundantly bestowed of God in every emergency. But let no arrangement be made to create an emergency; let there be no voluntary act to place one where he will be assailed with temptation or give the least occasion for others to think him guilty of indiscretion.   

     Correct View of Self in Light of God's Word. Satan's constant temptations are designed to weaken man's government over his own heart, to undermine his power of self-control. He leads man to break the bands which connect him in holy, happy union with his Maker. Then when he is disconnected from God, passion obtains control over reason, and impulse over principle, and he becomes sinful in thought and action; his judgment is perverted, his reason seems to be enfeebled, and he needs to be restored to himself by being restored to God by a correct view of himself in the light of God's Word.                                                                           

     The Power of Religion.

     By what means shall the young man repress his evil propensities, and develop what is noble and good in his character? The will, intellect, and emotions when controlled by the power of religion will become transformed. "Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" [1 Corinthians 10:31]. Here is a principle underlying every act, thought, and motive if the entire being is under control of the will of God.    

     The voice and passions must be crucified. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" [Philippians 4:13]. The will, the appetites and passions, will clamor for indulgence, but God has implanted within you desires for high and holy purposes; and it is not necessary that these should be debased. This is so only when we refuse to submit to the control of reason and conscience. We are to restrain our passions and deny self.     

     Satan's Pursuit of the Youth.

     The unsanctified mind fails to receive the strength and comfort which God has provided for all who will come to Him. There is an unrest, a burning desire for something new, to gratify, to please and fascinate the mind, and this indulgence is called pleasure. Satan has alluring charms with which to engage the interest and excite the imagination of youth, and fasten them in his snare. Do not build your character on the sand. 1900.  TSB 96-98