Finding peace by overcoming sin

King David had much need to seek peace—from what we can learn in the account of his life in the Old Testament. Israel, over which he ruled, was at war with its neighbors, and internal political struggle plagued his kingship through much of his reign. But his greatest battles were with himself.

For example, after his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba and his complicity in her husband's death, David was sharply reprimanded in a parable related to him by the prophet Nathan. David suffered intense pangs of conscience and sought repentance through prayer and fasting. See II Sam., chaps. 11-12 . His material wealth and enormous political power were of no help to him in this struggle; his peace could be restored only when he had reestablished his integrity and his obedience to God.

There is a psalm, later supposed to have been written by David at this period, that captures hauntingly the anguish and yearning for purity that one feels at times of deepest repentance. The psalm reads in part: "Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me . . . . Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. . . . Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit." Ps. 51:2, 3, 7, 10-12.

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Law of life
October 28, 1985

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