What do we do…
When Failure Follows Success?
We all know of David’s failure while he was King of Israel. In fact, his story is one of the saddest in the entire Bible. But, how many—oh, how many—of us have prayed along with him in the Psalms he wrote as he expressed before the Lord the deep grief of his heart over what he did!
Day 1—Setting guard against worldly desires.
II Samuel 11:1 And it came to pass... at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants (troops), with him, and all Israel... But David tarried still at Jerusalem. 2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
3And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
Psalm 101:2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. ...I will walk within my house with a perfect heart (with a heart of integrity). 3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes... I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way (entirely in accord with truth and fact).
DEAR LORD, the desires of my heart have failed before the lusts of my flesh. How this has grieved me! I know it has grieved You also. Now, with complete honesty and openness, I lay before You what has taken place. I ask for Your forgiveness, and I also ask for wisdom that I might know how to make amends.
Day 2—When a person has sinned, there is hope in God’s tender mercy.
- Psalm 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
- Psalm 40:11 Withhold not thou Thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let Thy lovingkindness and Thy Truth continually preserve me. 12 For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me. 13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.
FATHER, for the prayer of my heart today, I offer up what David has prayed in the Scripture.
Day 3—The Lord is the One Who is wronged when we choose to sin.
- Psalm 51:4 Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight: that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest.
- Luke 15:18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19 and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
DEAR FATHER, the grief in my heart over the way I have acted is almost more than I can bear. But, I have learned of Your mercy. So, I am coming to You at this moment with that as my only hope. O LORD, thank You for receiving me, for loving me, for knowing me still as Your beloved child.
The story of the prodigal—Luke 15:11-23
Day 4—Acknowledging that sin arises from within one’s inner parts.
- Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. (The sin of the whole race has come upon me.) 6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop (that with which the passover blood was sprinkled over the door), and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
- Ephesians 2 12...At that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the Covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For He (Christ Jesus) is our peace, Who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us...
DEAR LORD, whereas I had no hope, that is no longer the case. I praise You. Oh, I praise You for the mercy and love with which You received me. Keep me close to Your loving heart. Let these that I have hurt now feel Your tender, healing love. Please let them know Your love through me.
Day 5—A clean heart replaces hopelessness with a renewed spirit.
- Psalm 51:8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which Thou hast broken may rejoice.
9 Hide Thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
- Acts 15:7... Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the Word of the Gospel, and believe. 8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Spirit, even as He did unto us; 9 and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
DEAR FATHER, I praise You for removing from me the hopelessness that was not long ago in my heart. I thank You for giving me a new heart.
Day 6—Release from the bondage of fear unto the joy of salvation
- Psalm 51:11 Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit. 13 Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee.
- Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption (son-placement), whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (NIRV® You didn’t receive a spirit that makes you a slave to fear once again. Instead you received the Holy Spirit, who makes you God’s child. By the Spirit’s power we call God “Abba.” Abba means Father.)
DEAREST FATHER GOD, You have brought me into your household of faith. For this, I praise Your Holy Name. Do a work within me that will make me into one of Your children bringing joy to Your wonderful heart.
Day 7—Our hope is in God’s mercy.
- Psalm 51:14 You are the God Who saves me. I have committed murder. Take away my guilt. Then my tongue will sing about how right You are no matter what You do.NIRV®
- Psalm 25:1 Unto Thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. 2 O my God, I trust in Thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. 3 Yea, let none that wait on Thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.
HEAVENLY FATHER, my sins are more than I can even remember at this time. But, I have a new confidence coming to life in me, that You will forgive and cleanse me of every one of them. LORD GOD, as I can bear to think of them, bring them one by one to my remembrance. I want to confess them all to You, even if it takes the rest of my life. I know You have cleansed me from the guilt of them all, but I would like to know that I have brought them all to You. Oh, but Your mercy is so sweet!
Day 8—Our redemption reaches a new height in joy when we bring others to know Jesus.
- Psalm 51:13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee...
15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. ...16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
DEAR LORD, please use me in bringing others to know You. Let my life be like a pipe through which Your mercy will flow to others. Remove from me the spirit of condemnation that has tried to drag me down, and that also causes me to find fault in others. Fill me with the joy of salvation. Let these others—whose names I call now before You—come to know the joy of being saved.
The results of magnifying the Lord—Psalm 34:1-11
Day 9—Giving to the poor will bring assurance of provision in the time of trouble.
- Psalm 41:1 Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. 2 The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and Thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. 3 The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: Thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.
- Proverbs 14:21 He that despiseth his neighbor sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.
- Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
FATHER, please open the eyes of my heart to see those who are in need, to care for those who are hurting, to give encouragement to the down- hearted. Cause Your Spirit to bring forth in me a heart of compassion toward those who are wandering lost in their sin. Even cause me to let Your love move through me to touch the rebellious.
Day 10—The Prophets spread their convictions to the people of God.
- Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? 7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? 8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.
DEAR LORD, I’m so very sorry for the times I’ve passed the beggar and given nothing. Make the light of Your Gospel bright on my countenance. Even if I feel I have nothing to give, let your love flow freely from me to those in need. Thank you for the joy that is released in me as I reach out to those in need of mercy.
Day 10—The Lord Jesus teaches us to show compassion.
- Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
GRACIOUS LORD, You have been more than gracious to me. I praise You for what You have given me, especially the peace and confidence that has been mine today. Teach me how to minister to You by ministering to others who are in need.
From this point:
We will consider some of David’s qualities as a young man.
Day 11—David was a humble servant for his brethren
- I Samuel 17:17 And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp of thy brethren...
- Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
- II Corinthians 9:1 I don’t need to write to you about giving to God’s people. 2 I know how much you want to help. I have been bragging about it to the people in Macedonia. I have been telling them that since last year you who live in Achaia were ready to give. You are so excited that it has stirred up most of them to take action. 3 But I am sending the brothers. Then our bragging about you in this matter will have a good reason. You will be ready, just as I said you would be.
DEAR LORD, please help me be aware of those around me, who are believers and yet are in some trouble. Give me that working of Your grace that will reach out to them. Help me help them.
Day 12—The first commandment with Promise
- I Samuel 17:20 And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the fight, and shouted for the battle.
- Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; 3that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
- Exodus 20:12 Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
FATHER, even though I recognize Jesus as the supreme Lord of my life, help me honor those who are over me in the Lord. Give me the grace to always honor my mother and father so that your promises may flow freely in my life. Give me the wisdom and grace to know how to respond to demands that might come against the principles of Your Kingdom.
Day 13—Those opposing believers are the opposers of God.
- I Samuel 17:26 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
- Isaiah 31:3 Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD shall stretch out His hand, both He that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.
- Jeremiah 10:10 But the LORD is the true God, He is the living God, and an everlasting King: at His wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide His indignation.
FATHER, give us who are becoming committed to Your Kingdom the understanding of who our real enemies are. Show us that our battles are not with flesh and blood people, but with the spirits who drive people and make the oppose what You are bringing to pass in Your people.
Day 14—Regarding the qualities of young people who know the Lord.
- I Samuel 17:28 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.
- I Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation (your manner of living), in charity (agape, selfless love), in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attendance to reading (the Scriptures), to exhortation (encouraging other believers), to doctrine (teaching the Word). 14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery (the elders). 15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine (the teaching you have received from me); continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
DEAR LORD, let your light shine forth in me in all that I do. Please send Your Spirit upon me while I am alone that I might be a witness to others of your love and mercy.
Wisdom for young people—Ecclesiastes 12:1; Ps 71:17