Psalm 51:1-13 – “Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight — That You may be found just 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 inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may 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 uphold me by Your generous Spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You.” NKJV
I often quote and focus on verse 10 but to not bring the cries of David prior to that utterance would be a mistake. David was keenly aware of his flawed humanity and his need for God’s love, mercy, and grace. He recognized God’s incredible longsuffering and mercy as well as his personal sinfulness. I am convinced that UNTIL we come to the place we no longer, in any measure, attempt to intentionally or unintentionally “justify” our condition we will not truly seek that which David is seeking. Too often, we give lip service or acknowledgment to the fact that we are “sinful flesh” but then through our words or deeds imply that we are “comparing ourselves” with others and thereby justifying our condition. That is a tragic mistake and could be eternally fatal.
David’s open confession, in verse 3, of his sin and his acknowledgment that it was ALWAYS BEFORE HIM is revealing and needed if we are to break the chains of iniquity in our lives. David realized that his sin was, in fact, rebellion against God and no matter what the wrong it is wrong toward God. If we could realize that truth and accept our responsibility for our actions I believe we would be more prone to pray the pray and have the desire of David, as reflected in the Psalm. As I read this prayer I no longer wonder why God would say of David, “He is a man after my own heart.” David was honest with God, refusing to sugarcoat his actions and displayed a heart easily broken by the Spirit of God and willing to confess and repent.
David acknowledged that he is a member of the flawed human race. A race tainted by sin since the Garden of Eden and the fall of Adam & Eve. He acknowledges the Omniscience of God in his declaration that God KNOWS ALL. His declaration is a clear revelation that he understands salvation and I believe that message goes all the way back to the Garden and was handed down from generation to generation. Man has not been unaware of God’s plan or process and yet continues to walk in rebellion by allowing the flesh to dominate and direct our steps.
Then David comes to the portion of the prayer upon which I wish to focus, vv. 10-13. “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.”
There is not the time or space to complete what I hold in my heart about this so I will pause here and pick this up in the another devotional. God bless you, guard and guide you as you embark on this day’s journey in Christ Jesus!