Good morning to you my precious friends

In Psalm 51:1-4 King David says 1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always 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 judgement.”

If there is one thing all people do, it’s sin. And we don’t just sin every once in a while—we sin a lot. If we pay attention, we are constantly reminded of our sins— things we have thought or done or said that were bad, or maybe things that we didn’t do or didn’t say that we should have. People in the Bible sinned too, even really good people like King David. In Psalm 51, David tells God that he has sinned. He uses other words for sin, like transgression and iniquity, but it all means the same thing.

Psalm 51 is the prayer of David after the prophet Nathan came to talk with him about his sin with Bathsheba. The story, found in 2 Samuel 11 and 12, King David not only has an affair with the married woman Bathsheba but, when she discovers she is pregnant, David calls her husband home from the war to try to hide the fact that David is the father of Bathsheba’s baby. When that doesn’t work, David sends Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, to the front lines of the war and instructs his general to pull back the army so that Uriah will be killed.

After being confronted, David’s heart is broken. He comes with a humble and repentant heart before God. He seeks reconciliation, mercy, and cleansing. He requests that God would restore to him a clean heart, gladness, and the joy of his salvation. David was clearly filled with shame because he had done something awful. David’s sin not only affected him, but it also affected people around him.

In Psalm 51 David asks God to create a clean heart inside him. He isn’t just asking God to forgive his sin, he is asking God to change him on the inside. David used the same word for “create” in Hebrew that is used when God created the world. So it’s like David is asking God to take out his old heart and make a brand new one. This is not just a little fix to get it right—this is major heart surgery. David knows he didn’t just do one thing wrong; the problem is deep inside him.

We must deal with unconfessed sin in the same way David did. REPENT and sincerely, humbly, come to the foot of the cross and allow Jesus to deal with our sin. 1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Here are a few of David’s Responses to His Sin

1. David turns to God. He turns to his only hope, the mercy and love of God. Verse 1 says: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.” Three times: “Have mercy,” “according to Your steadfast love,” and “according to your abundant mercy.” This is what God had promised in Exodus 34 :6-7, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty.” Psalm 51 is David’s way of laying hold on that mystery of mercy.

As 21st century we Christians know more of the mystery of this redemption than David did and we have the privileged to know our Lord Jesus Christ personally. We lay hold of the mercy in the same way David did. The first thing David does is turn helplessly to the mercy and love of God. Today that means turning helplessly to Christ. 2. David prays for cleansing from his sin. Verse 2: “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”  Verse 7: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Hyssop was the branch used by the priests to sprinkle blood on a house that had a disease in it to declare it clean, see Leviticus 14:51. David is crying out to God as his ultimate priest that He would forgive him and count him clean from his sin. It is fitting that Christians ask God to do this. Christ has purchased our forgiveness. He has paid the full price for it. That does not replace our asking. It is the basis for our asking. It is the reason we are confident that the answer will be yes. So first David looks helplessly to the mercy of God. And second he prays that, in this mercy, God would forgive him and make him clean. 3. David confesses the seriousness of his sin and confesses at least five ways that his sin is extremely serious.

First, he says that he can’t get the sin out of his mind. It is blazoned on his conscience. Verse 3: “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.”

Second, he says that the exceeding sinfulness of his sin is that it is only against God. Nathan had said David despised God and scorned His word. So David says in verse 4: “Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight.” This doesn’t mean Bathsheba and Uriah and the baby weren’t hurt. It means that what makes sin to be sin is that it is against God. Hurting man is horribly bad. But that’s not the horror of sin. Sin is an attack on God — a belittling of God. David admits this in striking terms: “Against You, You only, have I sinned.”

Third, David vindicates God, not himself. There is no self-justification. No defence. No escape. Verse 4: “so that You may be justified in Your words and blameless in Your judgment.” God is justified. God is blameless. If God casts David into hell, God will be innocent. This is radical God-centered repentance. This is the way saved people think and feel. God would be just to condemn me. And that I am still breathing is sheer mercy. And that I am forgiven is sheer blood-bought mercy. David vindicates the righteousness of God, not himself.

Fourth, David intensifies his guilt by drawing attention to his inborn corruption. Verse 5: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” The fact that David committed adultery and murdered and lied are expressions of something worse: He is by nature that way. If God does not rescue him, he will do more and more evil.

Fifth, David admits he sinned not just against external law but against God’s merciful light in his heart. Verse 6: “Behold, You delight in truth in the inward being, and You teach me wisdom in the secret heart.” God had been his teacher. God had made him wise. David had done so many wise things. And then sin got the upper hand.

4. David pleads for renewal, finally, after turning helpless to God’s mercy, and then praying for forgiveness and cleansing, and then confessing the depth and greatness of his sin and corruption, David pleads for more than forgiveness. He pleads for renewal. He is passionately committed to being changed by God. Forgiven people are committed to being changed by God. The adulterer, the murderer, the liar, the child molester hate what they were and set their faces like flint to be changed by God.

David ends this psalm about his sin by asking God to give him more than a clean heart. David asks God for joy. For David, it isn’t enough that God forgives him—David wants to be in a good relationship with God again.

Write the words of Psalm 51:7 and put them above the hand basin in your home. For the next two days, whenever you wash your hands, shave, brush your teeth, repeat these words out loud. Purge me with Hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow”. Remember that God can and will forgive you if you ask Him.


Our Lord God of mercy, I don’t do the things I am supposed to do. I do things I know I shouldn’t do. Please forgive me. I know I have sinned. Please wash me, cleanse me, give me a new heart. Thank You for loving me, even when I fail. I know that You can make me whole again. Amen.

Much love and blessings from Maurice and Margaret.