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Psalm 51: 11 – 12

Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.

I really had a hard time choosing which verse to send today. This psalm is good right from the beginning. You would really be blessed to read the psalm in its entirety. How could I not choose these two verses, though, especially verse eleven where David writes explicitly about the Holy Spirit.

There are many things which distinguish David from other Biblical personalities, but David’s most unique characteristic is that he knew about the Holy Spirit. There just isn’t much about the Spirit in the Old Testament and those who had a concept still had little experience. Of all the Old Testament writers David stands out for his walk in and with the Spirit. In fact, often I think he is a good example to us of walking with the Spirit.

We see from this passage that David was well aware of God’s presence with Him. He enjoyed an intimate fellowship with the Lord. Consider then the context of this psalm. It was written from a contrite heart seeking forgiveness for what others may have thought unpardonable. This psalm follows upon the heels of David’s affair with Bathsheba and all that entailed. Yet if you read the entire psalm, though contrite, there is evidence of David’s confidence in the Lord’s lovingkindness and His immense capacity for forgiveness. David may have thought his behavior warranted God casting David from His presence but his song and prayer indicate that he understood God’s mercy to be greater than any sin.

David didn’t have Paul to teach him about God’s grace. He didn’t hear Jesus’ sermon on the mount. Where did he learn these deep concepts? I surmise that David learned directly from the Holy Spirit. Though the Spirit had not yet been poured out, he was in the earth. We find in the Old Testament examples of the Spirit alighting on individuals with resultant power and ability manifested in their life. Then the Spirit would, apparently, lift and they would return to their normal abilities. When the Spirit would settle upon an individual they would perform extraordinarily.

David experienced this extraordinary empowerment too but what scintillates about David is the daily walk he enjoyed with the Spirit. There are at least several messages hovering here. I will suggest two, you choose what to ponder today.

The first message is obvious, I think. If people from the Old Testament were supernaturally empowered by the visitation of the Holy Spirit, how much more divine power have we with the Spirit living in us rather than just settling on us from time to time? The second idea is the evidence in this psalm that David had a working relationship with the Spirit of God. While others had little appreciable understanding of the role of the Holy Spirit, David was engrossed in a daily partnership with him. David importuned the Father to restrain from removing the Holy Spirit’s presence with him.

David’s hope was in living in the presence of the Father with the support of the Holy Spirit. Joy and sustenance were in those two elements. It’s really quite beautiful when you think about it. Likewise, for us joy, hope, sustained life and power are found in the presence of divinity. In the world, we strive, powerless against the sin wrought turmoil. In the Spirit, we have life abundantly. David found something, the very something our innermost being seeks. Our search ends in the presence of the Holy Spirit. David said, “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple,” (Psalm 27: 4), and he dedicated his life to doing just that. Let us adopt a similar purpose. Let us say with commitment, “One thing I ask, this I shall seek, to live all my days intertwined with the Holy Spirit.”

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