In 2 Samuel 12, we read of how the Lord sent Nathan to rebuke David with the story of the rich man with exceeding flocks and herds, who stole the one and only little ewe lamb of the poor man, and had it dressed and cooked to serve to his guest. David was filled with indignation over this story, until Nathan told David that the man is the story was David himself, who had taken the wife of his most faithful soldier, and sent that soldier to his death in battle, in an attempt to cover up his sin. When David realized the truth of what Nathan told him, these are his words, found in Psalm 51: 1-11
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. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned , and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest , and be clear when thou judgest . Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean : wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice . Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 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.
You see, God is not all that impressed with our confessions. He sees the inward man and the secret things of the heart. He knows that we are still subject to a sin-cursed body and we are going to falter from time to time, and sometimes we will fall pretty hard. But true repentance means a change of heart. It doesn’t suffice just to list our daily sins and ask for God to forgive them while reserving a right to go right back out and do them again. David was grieved by the very nature within him.
He was found to be a man after God’s own heart in this: the Godly sorrow for his own sinfulness which God saw when He looked into David’s heart.
Surely that is a thought worthy of some meditation, wouldn’t you agree?