A Prayer for Restoration
For the choir director. A Davidic psalm, when Nathan the prophet came to him after he had gone to Bathsheba.
1 Be gracious to me, God,
according to Your faithful love;
according to Your abundant compassion,
blot out my rebellion.
2 Wash away my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I am conscious of my rebellion,
and my sin is always before me.
4 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.
5 Indeed, I was guilty when I was born;
I was sinful when my mother conceived me.
6 Surely You desire integrity in the inner self,
and You teach me wisdom deep within.
7 Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones You have crushed rejoice.
9 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,
Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved
Permission granted for the non-commercial use of this post.