Have you ever seen a mirage? Sometimes, when it’s really hot outside, sunlight reflects in a certain way to make you see things that aren’t there. It might look like there’s a big puddle at the end of the road, but really, it’s just cement.
David looked like he was a great king with a good, clean heart, but on the inside, he was sinful, just like you and me. He did many good, honorable things in public, like leading Israel to victory and showing incredible kindness to his friend Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth, whose legs were injured from a young age. He did other, sinful things in secret. He committed adultery, and he killed another man to cover up his sin. We’re a lot like David. We sin, but we don’t want other people to know, so we try to cover it up. We show off the good, honorable things that we do, but it doesn’t change the fact that we are poor, miserable sinners. We might look righteous and holy on the outside, but on the inside, we are sinful.
In Psalm 51:10, David asks God, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” We can’t change our sinful nature, but God can change our hearts. God can give us hearts that truly believe our sins are forgiven and desire to obey God. God can set us free from the shame that we have from our sin. God says that we are righteous inside and out because of Jesus’ death on the cross. It’s not a mirage; we really are forgiven and righteous because of Jesus!