“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!” Psalms 51:1-2 ESV
I have written about how we can’t throw out the Old Testament and accept the New Testament in its place, as modern sensibilities might suggest. (See, for instance, Jesus and the “Old Testament God”) The Old Testament is the seed for the New Testament. Everything revealed in the New Testament was first revealed in the Old Testament. The Old Testament finds its fulfillment in the New Testament.
It seems that 21st Century people tend to want to view “the Old Testament God” as something different from the God revealed in the New Testament by Jesus, but Jesus affirmed the Old Testament. Jesus says that the Old Testament also anticipates and points toward him.
“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” Luke 24:27
The Bible verse of the day quoted above was prayed by David in Psalm 51. David expressed the desire of all of us when he asked God to have mercy on him, to “blot out” his transgressions, to wash away his iniquity and to cleanse him from his sins. We all have a conscience.
We all have failed our own consciences (let alone God’s standards), and we need cleansing and redemption. This is a deep longing within each one of us.
At the same time, we have the capacity to ignore our consciences and to deny that desire for cleansing and redemption. If we do that too often and too long, our consciences become callous and dull; the desire for redemption diminishes; and we no longer have the sensitivity God built into us that drives us toward Him.
C S Lewis talks about how our desires and our needs have a correlative reality in something that fulfills those desires and needs. He observes that we hunger, and there is food to meet that hunger; we thirst, and there is water to quench that thirst; we have sexual desires, and there is conjugal love we have with another person that fulfills that desire.
The satisfaction is only temporary, however. We have longings for more lasting satisfaction. That those desires are only temporally met and satisfied, says Lewis, suggests that there is something else, something more.
We also have a deeper and more fundamental longing within us to know God and to be known by God, for relationship with God and for eternal life. CS Lewis says that the reality we know, the satisfaction of temporary longings and desires, is some evidence of a more fundamental and satisfying reality that will fulfill our enduring and deepest longings.
The ancient writer of Ecclesiastes was, perhaps, thinking along these same lines when he said that God put eternity into our hearts, yet not so much that we know very much about it:
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIVContinue reading “God is the Fulfillment of the Desires He Built into Us”