“Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem;”
(Psalms 51:18 ESV)
I nearly breezed through these last two verses in efforts to wrap up this series on Psalm 51, but I’m glad I didn’t.
Right after David says the good stuff is where I wanted to cut it off. He’s done praying for himself and giving us amazing insight into God’s desire and the prayer seems to be done with the “important” stuff. Man was I wrong.
As I thought more and more about this Psalm and David’s radical heart change, I think we begin to see a real transformation, in a practical way, of his desires and actions. David is finished with his lament over his sin and petitions for his people. The emphasis is no longer on himself but on the Lord’s desires for His people. That God’s good pleasure be found in who? David? Sure, but not just David. That God’s desires be found in Zion. David’s attention is turned to the focus of the Lord being pleased in Zion and not solely in him. His desire is that Zion not be tarnished by David’s sin and that God look upon Zion with a pleasing eye. Wow the impact sin has had on history! Entire groups of idolatry have birthed out of one man’s sin. If we would only see the ripple effect of our choices like this. David recognizes the communal reality of the impact of his sin and starts thinking less of himself and more for others, and more importantly, God’s people
All I really can say is that David sets the example of how the “resurrection” from sin takes place. If you ever want an idea of what a real, radical, God-fearing heart transformation would look like, look no further than David’s psalm to give you direction and discernment. David’s change really defines the steps of heart transformation that initially needs to take place. This Psalm is a remarkable display of the internal elements of the spirits work in a mans heart to see sin and to repent of it. Psalm 51:18 is a turning point for which David really begins to look away from himself and to the Lord and think for others.