Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God.” King David took another man’s wife and brought about the death of her husband and others in order to hide his behavior. After he had been confronted by the prophet Nathan, he called upon the Lord for forgiveness. Though there would be consequences for these actions in David’s life, his song reminded Israel that God could forgive serious sin and cleanse a heart that was overcome by shame.
David knew his transgressions. He could not stop thinking about what he had done. He had certainly sinned against Bathsheba and her husband, but first and foremost he had sinned against God.
David’s evil did not begin with actions. His thoughts and desires were wrong before he ever accomplished any sin. His adultery and murder came from within.
The king’s soul problem could only be healed by God. David acknowledged that his defect had been with him from birth. He also testified that the Lord was able to fix that inner wound by teaching him wisdom “in the secret heart.”
The king knew that the Lord could make him “whiter than snow.” God could send him “joy and gladness.” He could give his servant a “clean heart” and renew within him a “right spirit.”
What would the king do if God forgave him and cleansed him? “I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.” David was willing to write honestly about the Lord’s forgiveness. He would bring help to others who needed hope.
The Lord God delivered King David from “bloodguiltiness.” The king knew that the Lord would not despise his broken heart, so he offered himself up to God as a living sacrifice. He turned his shame into a song that would help millions and bring glory to the Lord.
How could a man like David find honest forgiveness and a new beginning? All divine blessing comes to sinners from the righteousness of Jesus. He would be the acceptable sacrifice who would one day be offered to God. The blood of the Son of God displayed the seriousness of sin, but through His life and death, people like King David could find new life.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers

O Lord, our Redeemer, You know the truth about our sin, and have uncovered transgression before our hearts at just the right time. You bring Your Word to bear upon the very points of our obvious faults. How could we have pretended that everything was alright when we continued in sin? Fill our souls with Your Holy Spirit. Change us, O God. We will lead others in the right way, for You have forgiven us. You have received us again through Christ. We give You all glory and praise through Him.