Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. . . . Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (Psalm 51:8, 12)
Why isn’t David crying out for sexual restraint? Why isn’t he praying for men to hold him accountable? Why isn’t he praying for protected eyes and sex-free thoughts? In this psalm of confession and repentance after essentially raping Bathsheba, you would expect David to ask for something like that.
The reason is that he knows that sexual sin is a symptom, not the disease.
People give way to sexual sin because they don’t have fullness of joy and gladness in Christ. Their spirits are not steadfast and firm and established. They waver. They are enticed, and they give way because God does not have the supreme place in their feelings and thoughts that he should.
David knew this about himself. It’s true about us too. David is showing us, by the way he prays, what the real need is for those who sin sexually: God! Joy in God.
This is profound wisdom for us.