One common mistake I have made since going back to work is starting a load of laundry and forgetting about it. Then you have that awful smell that no matter how many times you wash it, it just stinks! I have washed things over and over, in extra hot water, extra good smelling detergent, everything I can think of but I just can’t lose the smell.
I am often like that with Jesus. I sin terribly and I try everything in my power to atone for itm but I am still dirty and smelly. It is like David and his mourning over Absalom. David was trying everything in his power to atone for his sin. 2 Samuel 19 tells us that the soldiers were actually ashamed of their victory because it brought such sorrow to their king. David refused to be comforted. Why? Because he was atoning for his sins. It took the blunt speech of Joab to show the king how selfish he was. “I see, said Joab, that you would be pleased if Absalom were alive today and all of us were dead.” (2 Samuel 19:6). David’s abnormal grief had so isolated him from reality that he was unable to live like a king and rule over himself and his people. David was smelly all around.
The sorrows of life do not create problems; they reveal them. Absolom’s death and David’s unnatural mourning revealed to the world that David had not been in control of his family and that his own sin had found him out. Instead of trying to atone for his sin, David should have trusted God for the forgiveness he needed. Only Jesus’ blood can atone for our sins. He is the only one who can take this smelly person and make me thoroughly clean. That is what David did when he confessed his sin of adultery and God graciously forgave him. Psalm 51:16-17 “For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart–These, O God, You will not despise.” Even though our sorrows may be caused by our sin, as were David’s, we can still confess those sins to the Lord, claim His forgiveness, and experience His comfort. And not be smelly anymore. I am off to change my shirt!