Psalm 51

Hello, my friend.    One of the most stirring descriptions of David is found in Acts 13:22, where God says, “I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.”  Then we read, vs. 23, “From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as He promised.”  And vs. 36, “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep.”  Great statements from the Lord regarding King David.

And yet who can ever forget the shock of reading about his terrible, moral collapse in 2 Samuel chapter 11.  As you recall, David, in a moment of fearful carelessness, saw Bathsheba bathing on a roof nearby, had her brought to him, where he seduced her.  When he discovered she was with his child, he called Uriah, her husband, from the army, did his best to get Uriah to go home and sleep with her. But Uriah, in a noble statement, said he could not do that while the King’s men were in battle.  So David connived to have him slain, and felt that this sin had been covered up.

But we can never forget that verse in Proverbs 28:13, “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”  So we see how God used Nathan, the priest, who perhaps a year later confronted David, as recorded in 2 Samuel 12.  Nathan told the story of the rich man who took a ewe lamb belonging to a poor man, to prepare a meal for a visitor.  David burned with self-righteous anger, we read, and said, “As surely as the Lord lives, that man deserves to die” (vs.5).  And Nathan, courageously says, “You are the man!” He knew that David could have killed him, too, but David, in a great act of contrition picks up his pen and writes this most powerful Confession of Sin in all of Scripture, PSALM 51.

We see in vs. 1, the basis of forgiveness, God’s mercy.  And in vs. 4, the source of forgiveness, when David acknowledges that sin is always and only against God, not against people wronged. He says, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.”  Then in vs. 6, he speaks of the basis of forgiveness, confessing inner, hidden evil, “Surely you desire truth in the inner part; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.”  Then in vs. 8 he speaks of his hunger for forgiveness, “Let me hear joy and gladness…blot out my iniquity” and in vs. 11, “Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.” The result of forgiveness is powerfully stated in vs.12 & 13, “Then I will teach transgressors your ways and sinners will turn back to you.”  He is reminded that God is not particularly interested in our sacrifices, or religious rituals, but in a cleansed, eager and available life.  And when forgiveness comes, God forever forgets our sin, as Jer.31:34 gloriously tell us.  And we can continue as people after His own heart.

“Dear Lord Jesus, we marvel at the cost of our salvation and the wonder of complete forgiveness.  We are stunned by this wonderful truth; we long to please you forever. Bless my friend who is along on the Internet, and all whom we love!” 

Thank you, partner, as we share these deep truths of God’s Word.  Cheerio!

These meditations on the Psalms were written by Village Schools of the Bible Founder, Monty Sholund and first published in book form as Monty’s Musings on the Psalms in 2000.

Psalm 51

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