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Daily Devotional

August 8

Twilight: The Psalm of Penitence

by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven

Monthly Theme:

These meditations are on the psalms. All those songs about Zion, the temple, and the Son of David really make sense when they are sung In the New Testament church.

Bible Reading:

Psalm 51:1–12

Bible Text:

Have mercy... blot out ... wash away.. .for I know my transgressions.... Create in me a pure heart, O God (Ps. 51 :l–3, 10).

Devotional:

In the Bible God speaks to us and teaches us how to speak to him. For the goal of the Bible is that we may know the Lord and live in a covenant relationship with our God.

In Psalm 51 we learn how to seek the LORD in penitence when we have sinned in arrogance or weakness. "Have mercy!" we cry to the Judge, who has the right to condemn us. "Blot out!" we cry—please, erase our sins from your record. "Wash," we beg, for we are like soiled garments. "Cleanse," for we know we are filthy.

Following the pattern of this psalm, we should start by asking for forgiveness (vv. 1-2), then confess what we have done, showing that we know what sin is (vv. 3-6), and then beg for cleansing and healing (vv. 7-9). For even New Testament Christians need forgiveness. In fact, we cannot live a day or an hour without the forgiving love of our Savior.

"Create in me a pure heart, O God." Whatever is good in us is newly created by God. Purity is not the result of self-development but of new birth.

We who belong to Christ are being renewed by the Spirit of the risen LORD. This process of renewal requires constant vigilance on our part and, when we sin, fervent penitence.


Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.

A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version

Be sure to read the "Preface" and the "Acknowledgments" by the author.

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