The Cry 2
The Cry of the Guilty
So I could start by asking who has ever felt guilty before; but this would be who has ever felt hungry. This has got to be one of the most universal human experiences.
What I find truly interesting about guilt is that we are all going through it in one way or another; yet the things we are truly guilty about we just are not willing to address with others or be vulnerable with others or even with ourselves.
We kind of just let it sit there and ignore it with the hope that it will go away.
The problem is that is very dangerous.
So the when my sister came out from Australia she paid for us to go on a wildlife hike in the Krugers Park. It was mind blowing! We went out into the middle of the park in a Landy and then with two rangers we just walked around the Kruger National Park. So while we were there we were walking and I see this rock in the distance (a rather large rock). As we got close I could swear this rock looked like it was moving. Well this rock was moving because suddenly it stood up and looked directly at us… it wasn’t a rock by the way it was a huge male Rhino! The Ranger tells us to stop and as quick as we can hide behind a tiny tree. After the rhino left us alone we asked surely the tree was too small to stop the rhino; to which the Ranger said “oh it was way too small I just needed a point of reference to find you if something went really wrong!”
Now the way we treat our guilt would be like seeing that rhino in the park and everyone just pretending like it wasn’t there.
It’s seriously obvious and seriously dangerous.
But this is how most of us deal with the guilt that we are carrying around with us.
David shares with the community of believers how he deals with his own guilt in Psalm 6. So if you could turn with me to Psalm 6; let’s read…
1Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
2Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
3My soul is in deep anguish.
How long, Lord, how long?
4Turn, Lord, and deliver me;
save me because of your unfailing love.
5Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
Who praises you from the grave?
6I am worn out from my groaning.
All night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.
7My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
they fail because of all my foes.
8Away from me, all you who do evil,
for the Lordhas heard my weeping.
9The Lordhas heard my cry for mercy;
the Lordaccepts my prayer.
10All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish;
they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.
The first thing David does is that He is honest with Himself so the first step is to be…
Honest with Myself (1-3)
David recognises the situation that He finds Himself in; He has offended God and deserves the punishment and wrath of God.
This is a very honest place to get to; to own your mistakes and your sins; but not just to say I am guilty but to say I am guilty and deserve punishment. David doesn’t shirk blame; He doesn’t move the guilt to someone else; He owns it!
He knows who He has disappointed; God! He knows his feelings; he is self-aware. Many of us seek to pacify these feelings with escaping activities; such as entertainment etc. not that these are bad. They are bad if we are using them to try and deal with our guilt.
You cannot hope to deal with your guilt if you are not willing to own up to it and recognise it.
How many of us find ourselves in a place where we have done something; we are disappointed in ourselves; we feel distant from God and from others, and then when we are confronted with these feelings rather than being honest with them; we lie to ourselves; I’m just over worked; it’s just that time of year again. I’m just tired. I need to eat healthier. That is why I feel offish at the moment.
Rather than owning your guilt you push it down and ignore it. The problem with guilt is that it is a feeling that doesn’t go away when we ignore it; it festers.
David doesn’t fall into the other side of the guilt trap which is depression caused by self-hate. So many of us when we are guilt to satiate the guilt in us we punish ourselves. We become our own worst enemies because after all we deserve it!
The problem with this is that you can never punish yourself enough to feel fine again; in fact your punishment of yourself will only further inflame your guilt.
So what do we do? Well there is only one option; call on God’s mercy!
It is only in God’s mercy through Jesus Christ that our sins can actually be dealt with; for it is only there that the punishment for sins is actually dealt with and mercy is given appropriately!
Which lead me to the second thing David does; He is honest with God. So our next step is to be…
Honest with God (4-7)
Deliver me Lord for your unfailing love. As we have just stated David recognised that His help comes from God alone!
It is only the grace of God that can satisfy a guilty conscience. For it is only the grace of God that deals with our sins. It is only the cross of Christ that we are healed; for it is only on the cross of Christ that our sins are paid for.
David knew this he knew that all he had was God’s unfailing love. This is what he fell upon.
We have to come as we are; owning who we are to the cross of Christ and receive mercy; this is the freedom we have for our sin.
There have been many times in my life where I have fallen on my knees and prayed; “Lord if it is not for your mercy I am done for.” This should be how we live our lives as Christians.
Do we believe – as David believed – that the love of Christ is enough! That the unfailing love of God is sufficient for us?
Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of this and call again on the mercy of God.
David reminds himself that the dead have no opportunity for this. And likewise we only have our lives now to reconcile to God.
When I was a young man my youth pastor always used to say; keep short accounts with God. If you have sinned confess and make right, don’t delay, delaying will only make your problems bigger.
Don’t delay; don’t carry around the guilt any longer; confess it to Him and trust in his unfailing love to deal with you in grace and mercy.
This brings us to David’s conclusion; his…
Moving forward (8-10)
Suddenly David changes his tune in the Psalm; and condemns the wicked; away from me he cries for it is you who will be put to shame!
You see the believer in God always has people who long for their demise; if it is not Satan it is the people of the world; if it is not the people of the world it is their own self-doubt and sin.
However, David orientates his response from his understanding; God has heard my cry and has had mercy on me therefore everyone else be quite; get away!
God has spoken so everyone else be quite!
This might be one of the toughest things to do but to quite the accusing voices once you have dealt with God.
But it comes down to a faith thing; who do you believe the voices of the world or the voices in side your head – or do you believe in the declaration of God.
11For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.12As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.13Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.…
When we go to Him and cry out to Him and trust Him for forgiveness He grants it to us.
The issue is to get our hearts in a place where we believe the forgiveness of God. For some it is as easy as taking God at His word; God has said it therefore I believe it.
For some it takes the loving confirming hand of God on their lives for this to be a reality; God will be gracious to both.
I remember when I first got saved I got baptised and as a present for being baptised my mom gave me a cross neckless with the date of my baptism inscribed on the back.
To me this was like a wedding ring (in a way) as it was a tangible reminder that I was Christ’s and that I had dedicated my life to Him.
Well in a season of not feeling close to God and carrying some guilt around with me I lost this neckless. It was like I had lost God (I hadn’t and in fact I was in danger of making that neckless an idol). But in my mind God had abandoned me and this was the final confirmation of this.
So I prayed the one night; and honestly asked God that I trust Him and love Him and understand if He doesn’t love me because of all my sins but if He still loves me would He confirm it to me by showing where the neckless was.
Well that night I had the weirdest dream where I was flying around my room and I became small enough to fly between my side table (next to my bed and the wall) and there as big as anything was my cross.
At this I woke up and in a bit of confusion thought I wonder? So I moved my side table and there was my cross neckless.
This was such a great lesson to me that God desires for us to know His goodness. I subsequently lost the neckless again but never felt the need to have a symbol of my commitment to Christ and therefor it remains lost.
But I know that God forgives me!
He desires for us to trust Him as His Word but I believe that He is good enough to meet us where we need Him to meet us.
So church can I encourage you tonight you don’t have to carry around the burden of your guilt any more, let it go to Him, trust Him to take it away!
He is faithful to forgive us of all unrighteousness if we own it and confess it to Him!
God in the peace and grace that God gives you tonight!