Season 3, Episode 2
For Friday, January 29, 2016
“Cast Me Not Away From Thy Presence (Psa. 51:11)”
HOST: Wade Webster
Following his sin with Bathsheba, one of the things that David feared most was being cast out of God’s presence. David longed to be with God. His soul fainted for the courts of God. Although we do not need to emulate David’s sin, we do need to emulate his spirit. As we get ready to worship this week, we need to think about what a blessing it is to be in God’s presence and what a curse it would be to be removed from it.
The fifty-first psalm is a penitential psalm. It was written by David after his sin with Bathsheba. The psalm begins with David acknowledging his sin and asking for God’s forgiveness (Psalm 51:1-3). The psalm reaches a crescendo about midway when David pleads for God not to to cast him away from His presence. We read, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me” (Psa. 51:10-11). David did not want to lose the presence of God. I believe that David primarily had the presence of God in worship in mind.
There is a sense in this life when we are never out of God’s presence. After all, He is omni-present. In another psalm, David wrote, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee” (Psa. 139:7-12). Clearly, David was not speaking of God’s presence in this sense.
There is a time coming in eternity when those who are wicked will be out of the presence of God. Paul wrote, “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2 Thess. 1:7-9). Please note that those who do not know God or obey Him will be “punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.” One of the reasons why hell will be so bad is because God will not be there. Although David’s sin is clearly marked in Scripture as one that will separate one from the presence of God eternally in hell (Rev. 21:8), it does not seem that this is what David had in mind.
It seems that David had in mind the presence of God in worship. David often spoke of God’s presence in this way in worship. In the ninety-fifth psalm, he wrote, “Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms” (Psa. 95:2). In the one hundredth psalm, David wrote, “Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing” (Psa. 100:2). It seems clear that David did not want to be cast away from God’s presence in worship. David longed to be in God’s presence in worship. In the eighty-fourth psalm David wrote, “My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God” (Psa. 84:2). Notice the verbs that David used: longeth, fainteth, and crieth. These are strong verbs. From the depths of his soul, David longed to be in the presence of God. David counted a day in God’s courts better than a thousand elsewhere. We read, “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psa. 84:10). More than anything, David did not want to lose the privilege of being in God’s presence in worship.
As we get ready to worship this week, we need consider what a great privilege it is to be in God’s presence in worship. Understanding this privilege will help us to worship with the right spirit.
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