Week 3 Day 2

Psalm 51
Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion 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, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
6 Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.
7 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which 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 steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Your praise.
16 For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
18 By Your favor do good to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices,
In burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then young bulls will be offered on Your altar.
Psalm 51 is penitential, which means it has a profound tone of repentance over sin. The superscription to Psalm 51 tells us the occasion for the Psalm: when Nathan the prophet went to David after his sin with Bathsheba.

Psalm 51 asks three questions. They are:
  • Am I really that bad? (1-6)
  • What do I do? (7-13)
  • What has God done? (14-19)

It has been said earlier in this devotional that sin is cosmic treason. David’s confession here is radical and intense: “Against you, you only, have I sinned.” The reason he says it that way is, even though he has killed someone, his sin has been more profoundly against the One to whom he owes everything. This treasonous act tramples on the heart of the God who loves him.

Which is why David pleads with God to be restored. “Restore the joy of my salvation” is David’s way of asking to be in right relationship to the One he sinned against. It’s a prayer we should pray frequently because it’s also a sin to be less than joyful about what God has done in our lives. The lengths he has gone to restore us to Himself should be ever on our minds and should be used to invigorate our joy.

Paul Tripp writes “It should be in our minds, it should flood our hearts, it should be constantly on our lips: we have been redeemed! Chosen out of the mass of humanity, forgiven by the sacrifice of Jesus, accepted into God’s family, the Holy Spirit now living inside of us, God working to empower us against and to deliver us from sin… and a guaranteed future in God’s presence free from sin and struggle. We’ve been redeemed! Given what we couldn’t deserve –love in the middle of our rebellion – and given acceptance we could never earn. We’ve been redeemed!  We’ve been redeemed!  We’ve been redeemed!

Reflection and Prayer

Do you find yourself weighed down by shame and guilt over your sin?  Confess that sin, thank God for the power of His redemption, and ask Him to open your lips to joyfully praise Him.

Remember that our acceptance is not something we earn, it is the gift of God’s redemptive grace!

I think of my blessed Redeemer, I think of You all the day long:  I sing for I cannot be silent; Your love is the theme of my song.  Redeemed, redeemed, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; Redeemed, redeemed, Your child and forever I am!

Faith Bible Staff