Lamenting: A Pathway to Restoration after Sexual Sin

A Look at King David’s Lament after his Sexual Sin with Bathsheba

For the past 25 years I have ministered and provided counseling to men helping restore them to God and their families as both a Pastoral Counselor and now has a Professional Counselor. Sexual Sin is at an all-time high today in the culture which has also impacted the Church, the term “sex addiction” is often used to describe compulsive, uncontrollable sexual exploits. It could be an inability to stop watching pornography, compulsive masturbation, or engaging in sexual acts with another person despite attempts to control or stop that behavior. I have used Psalm 51 often to help men structure their prayer of repentance. I will show in this blog how to use Psalm 51 as an individual lament.

Psalm 51 was written by King David after he was confronted by the Prophet Nathan concerning David’s sexual sin (affair) he had with Bathsheba, and how David had Bathsheba’s husband Uriah killed in battle in his attempt to cover up the affair which resulted in a pregnancy. David’s lament in Psalm 51 accurately portrays what many men who struggle to overcome sexual addiction go through as they grieve, their sin and the consequences of their sin before God. Psalm 51 is classified as an individual lament in which a single voice cries out to God for deliverance from a life-threatening situation. In the case of Psalm 51, the life-threatening situation is King David’s guilt over the taking of Bathsheba.

What is the lament of sin? Lament is expressing sorrow and grief over  travesty, injustices, sicknesses, death, or other brokenness within a fallen world. This includes the ramifications of sin within a fallen world and the emotional responses to those sins and how they affect you. Lament includes the emotional side of sin and how it is affecting you. Lament should be the chief way Christians process grief in God’s presence. Because many Christians have grown up in churches which always look on the bright side, lament can be jarring. It can help people see a harsh reality of trying to live the Christian life in with a fallen nature and in a fallen world.

Laments help us through our sufferings by directing our hearts to make the choice, which is often a daily choice to trust God’s purposes that are hidden behind the pain. In this way lamenting can be some of the most theologically informed activities of the Christian life. Lamenting is different from complaining. Lamenting is a prayer to God; a complaint is a gripe pointing out faults. Lamenting is trusting  in a gracious, loving heavenly Father who hears your hearts cry.

Four Elements of a Lament

  1. Turning ………verses 1 through 4
  2. Complaining…….verses 5 and 6
  3. Asking…………. Verses 7 through 18
  4. Trusting……….verse 19

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone into Bathsheba.

 1 Have mercy on me,[a] 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!

For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right[b] spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
build up the walls of Jerusalem;
19 then will you delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

English Standard Version (ESV)

Despite King David’s sinfulness, he remained always to faithful to God. David once a meek shepherd boy who was often overlooked  Went on in his life became known has a Great King of Israel and known as a man after God’s own heart. Through King David’s family lineage came Jesus Christ.

Jim Katsoudas – learn more about working with Jim here!

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