“You are the man!” Nathan told David. “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: I anointed you king over Israel and rescued you from Saul. I gave you your master Saul’s house and his wives. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if this weren’t enough, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise my word by doing what I considered evil? You had Uriah the Hittite killed in battle. You took his wife as your wife. You used the Ammonites to kill him. So warfare will never leave your house because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.” (2 Samuel 12:7-10)
What seems so unsettling about this passage is that if David, a man God claimed to be a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22) could fall so far, it can happen to any of us! David truly believed he had gotten away with all of it and it never seemed to even prick his conscience until Nathan confronts him! If it can happen to David, how can we make sure we won’t succomb to sins such as these? I believe Jesus began his greatest sermon of all time giving us the answer to this question:
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
When I get to heaven one question I’d like to ask Jesus one day is why this “beatitude” is so far down on the list? It’s the sixth one and in my book, it should be number one for in my opinion it’s the most significant of all the beatitudes mentioned in the fifth chapter of Matthew. You can’t be poor in spirit or mourn for the things that displease God without having a pure heart. To be meek or to hunger and thirst for righteousness, your heart must be pure! A pure heart, I believe, has to be a prerequisite to being merciful and a peacemaker or to be prepared to stand against persecution for the name of Christ without wanting to just give up the fight! I think the “heart” or center of the Christian life is truly the matter of a pure heart.
When the Bible speaks of the heart, it is referring to our will and the choices we make. So, to be pure in heart means that the thoughts, intentions and desires we have, along with the decisions we make, will come from a focus to please God and be untarnished by sin. Which then begs the question – how can we obtain a pure heart? And there’s the rub, for we must first realize that we, in and of ourselves, cannot attain a heart that is pure and fully devoted to God. Millions have tried through the centuries, but the Bible is very clear that that goal is impossible for us to achieve on our own. Notice:
“The Lord saw … that every inclination of the thoughts of his [man’s] heart was evil all the time.” (Genesis 6:5) and
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” (Jeremiah 17:9)
The good news is that “what is impossible for man is possible for God.” (Luke 18:27) A pure heart is a gift from God, and by the Spirit living in us. David knew this. Take a look at the Psalm he wrote after Nathan had confronted him over his sin. Psalm 51
…Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation…
No matter how far we fall, we can still receive His forgiveness and mercy and renew a right relationship with Him at anytime because of all Christ Jesus did for us! Look at Peter’s words:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you.”
(1 Peter 1:3-4).
Pretty neat, huh?! Because of all Christ Jesus has already done, blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God one day!!
‘Til next time,