With or Without an Eraser

Psalm 51

A Prayer for Restoration

For the choir director. A Davidic psalm, when Nathan the prophet came to him after he had gone to Bathsheba.

Be gracious to me, God,
according to Your faithful love;
according to Your abundant compassion,
blot out my rebellion.
Wash away my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I am conscious of my rebellion,
and my sin is always before me.
Against You—You alone—I have sinned
and done this evil in Your sight.
So You are right when You pass sentence;
You are blameless when You judge.
Indeed, I was guilty when I was born;
I was sinful when my mother conceived me.

Surely You desire integrity in the inner self,
and You teach me wisdom deep within.
Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones You have crushed rejoice.
Turn Your face away from my sins
and blot out all my guilt.

10 God, create a clean heart for me
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from Your presence
or take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore the joy of Your salvation to me,
and give me a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach the rebellious Your ways,
and sinners will return to You.

14 Save me from the guilt of bloodshed, God,
the God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing of Your righteousness.
15 Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare Your praise.
16 You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it;
You are not pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit.
God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart.

18 In Your good pleasure, cause Zion to prosper;
build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices,
whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on Your altar. (Psalm 51:1-19, Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Can you imagine a world where there were pencils but there were no erasers? 162 years ago today a wealthy Philadelphia businessman named Hyman L. Lipman filed the first patent for a pencil with an eraser on the other end.

Prior to Lipman’s creation, the pencils used, and they were very common in those days for people working outside and much more. The ink fountain pen was still about 30 years away. Steel nibs were just coming into their own and the majority of business correspondence was done using a quill pen.

The pencil with an eraser on the end was hardly Lipman’s first prosperous business idea. He was in the stationary business. He worked hard and bought out another manufacturer of stationary. A few years later he developed the envelope. Prior to the envelope people wrote business correspondence was on paper sealed with wax and often tied together with ribbon or yarn.

When Lipman decided to take on the pencil, pencils were made of coal and wrapped in something like yarn or fabric. They were quite messy. When someone found a source for graphite led and the Dutch developed a process for encasing the led in wood, the pencil grew in popularity but things were still problematic. When someone made a mistake, it was still stuck on the page. Enter Hyman Lipman with a solution to the problem, the eraser.

The pencil with eraser revolutionized the way people write. And, while there are mechanical pencils these days, the basic wooden pencil hasn’t changed since Lipman’s patented pencil with an eraser.

The psalmist in Psalm 51 might have been talking about using an eraser in much the same way he talked about being purified with hyssop had pencils with erasers been around in King David’s time.

That is what God does for us. When we confess our sin, God erases the sins of our past. Our present becomes clean because God knows how to use an eraser.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Seeking the Genuine,
Keith

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved
Permission granted for the non-commercial use of this post.

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Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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