Psalm 51

Friday, July 31, 2020



Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Psalm 51:10-11

“Houston, we’ve had a problem,” uttered to Mission Control by Apollo 13 Commander Jim Lovell on the second day of their lunar landing mission, resulted in the most “successful failure” in U.S. history. In the 1995 motion picture, Apollo 13, the phrase was altered to, “Houston we have a problem,” for dramatic purposes and the new phrase has become a cliché used to indicate any kind of problem. Immediately, the greatest minds at NASA began to recalculate the safe return and re-entry of the three astronauts and their crippled spacecraft. Most of us know the obnoxious female voice of, “recalculating,” indicating we have drifted off course and our GPS is in the process of getting us back on track. As followers of Christ, we must often experience spiritual recalculating because of mistakes or simply to realign our spiritual direction.

King David experienced a spiritual recalculation when he made a devastating mistake that crippled his life and knocked him off course. Psalm 51 is his prayer when he realized there was a problem. This story should remind us that it is not innocence that makes us good but confession and spiritual realignment that enables us to experience the presence and power of the Spirit again. David’s prayer to “create” is a cry for Divine intervention to make his heart pure. The word “renew” is another way of asking God to restore an essential principle of his new nature that had not been lost, but its influence had been interrupted. David, in asking both for a new heart and a renewed spirit, requested an overhaul of his mental and moral nature because sin had crippled his life.