‘David: Psalm 51’, by Geoffrey Bingham

Thou requirest truth
In the inward parts:
Not merely on the lips,
Where man may mutter anything,
And seal his subterfuge,
Making it truth for him
And those who hear.

Thou requirest truth
When man is truly man:
Down in the depths beneath,
Where You alone may see:
Man senses but he does not know
That truth is the truth
That You require.

I, David, was a man of joy,
Of pleasant power,
Of daily purity.
True, I too was tempted,
But should I fall
Would know I fell
And cry to You for help.

When then I fell
And said I did not fall,
When kept within
The hellish sin I did
And made it joy, not sin,
The fires began
That ran into my soul.

At nights they burned,
By day they flamed,
Hot coals that dried
Or sweated me
Until the power had gone,
That once I knew
In doubtless joy.

When Nathan came
His piercing eyes
Looked to the depths
(His eyes were Yours);
The holy flame
Burned even more.
I was undone.

The mercy cried
Was mercy come,
The lava fled
Its burning core,
And I was freed—
The flame was gone
By mercy’s love.

The truth required
In inward parts,
The purity
Within the heart
Have come again.
No greater gift
Was ever given.

Here then I weep
For grace and sin,
The wasted hour,
The splendid grace:
Both show me truth
Is what I need,
With wisdom.

Teach me, then, Lord,
Of sin’s deceit,
The sludge of sin
That full defiles.
Give me the love
Of purity,
The only truth.

Now sings my heart,
The heart so pure
The miracle of love
Has made again.
The man destroyed
Is made anew
For purity.

I know, dear Lord,
The cost is Yours.
Sin’s suffering
Is mine alone,
But Yours the pain
Messiah takes
Unto the death.

Broken I go,
Though healed.
Wisdom I know,
Though foolish.
You have unmasked
The sin that binds,
And set me free.

Freedom thus bought
Is freedom prized
And holiness
Is gift most high.
Man breathes eternity
In holiness
And knows You true.

This is the wisdom required:
This is the gift of God
Set in the inward parts,
True purity in peace
And holiness in joy.

– Geoffrey C. Bingham, The Spirit of All Things (Blackwood: Troubadour Press, 1992), 72–4.

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