The Importance of Full Restoration

The Importance of Full Restoration

A flawed restoration. In the story of David’s life we often see him as great Christian example, a wonderful type of Christ. However, there are also times when the great King of Israel is a dismal example, and anti-Christ. When David sinned with Bathsheba his repentance is regarded as the quintessential repentance (see ), but David is not so good at restoring relationships within his natural family. In  David begins to restore his relationship with Absalom after the murder of Amnon.

The Penance of David, Psalm 51

penitent David

The problem is that the restoration is incomplete. Absalom is not allowed to see David’s face. Absalom recognizes that to be in the king’s presence but not allowed to be in the presence of his countenance is worse than being far away!

David finally sees Absalom and the text gives us only the smallest bit of information… “the king kissed Absalom”. But this was 2 years after the rogue son was brought home. Imagine if God restored relationship with us like this! What would the parable of the prodigal son look like if David was the ‘father’ and Absalom the ‘son’?

The sad thing is that David’s restoration of his son is the way we most often restore relationships with those who have wronged us. We allow a partial restoration but still hold a grudge. We often delight in reminding those who needed the restoration – how difficult it is to have a complete relationship with them.

Praise God that the restoration of our relationship with God is not like David’s restoration of Absalom! He has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west and given us the righteousness of Christ His beloved Son.

It may have been David’s faulty restoration that pushed Absalom to usurp the throne, if so it begs the question, “what sins have we pushed others towards by not restoring them fully?” But important than that is the clear display of God’s love and Christ work as ‘incomplete’. Faulty or partial restoration on our part is a declaration against “Sola Gratia” (Grace alone).

51:1 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!

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 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 bloodguiltiness, 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. (ESV)

24 And the king said, “Let him dwell apart in his own house; he is not to come into my presence.” So Absalom lived apart in his own house and did not come into the king’s presence. (ESV)

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