Psalm 51:title–12 (ESV)
TO THE CHOIRMASTER. A PSALM OF DAVID, WHEN NATHAN THE PROPHET WENT TO HIM, AFTER HE HAD GONE IN TO BATHSHEBA.
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
We have been taking a look at David’s affair with Bathsheba and the cover-up that followed and resulted in the killing of Uriah. We have looked at how sin causes more sin and impacts not only us, but others. David thought he had successfully covered his wrongdoing, but he could never hide his actions from God and the Lord let him know this through Nathan.
When David heard the words of Nathan, he admitted his sin. The passage in 2 Samuel does not give us much insight into David’s thoughts and feelings, but Psalm 51 gives us a look at David’s heart. These are David’s own words of repentance and they are a model for what true repentance looks like. David admits his guilt and expresses his sorrow. He does not try to justify his actions and he calls out on God’s mercy for forgiveness. David knows there is nothing he can offer to God, he can only receive restoration through God’s grace.
We have all sinned against God and stand in need of God’s grace and mercy. The amazing thing is that God has told us that all who repent and turn to him by trusting in Jesus Christ will find forgiveness and restoration.
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