The broken-hearted sinner’s cry to the God of grace

We are taught by the example of David that even the foremost Christian can fall prey to temptation. This psalm was written after Nathan the prophet had confronted David with his sin with Bathsheba. But his example should not make us so presumptuous as to excuse any sin that we may commit. Rather, we ought to use it as continual admonition to prevent ourselves falling into temptation and a snare. 

Nearly every verse is a petition and an acknowledgment of his transgression. His prayer is redolent with repentance. He calls his lapse, transgression, iniquity and sin, a three-fold description of his impugning the law and holiness of God. He sinned against Bathsheba, her husband and his own soul, but he realised that the greatest sin was against God (v. 4). 
But blessed be His Name, there is forgiveness and mercy with God. A broken spirit and a contrite heart can know a cleansing whiter than the snow. The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, can cleanse from all unrighteousness.


Psalm 51

   1  After thy loving-kindness, Lord,
         have mercy upon me:
      For thy compassions great, blot out
         all mine iniquity.

   2  Me cleanse from sin, and thoroughly wash
         from mine iniquity:
   3  For my transgressions I confess;
         my sin I ever see.

   4  'Gainst thee, thee only, have I sinned,
         in thy sight done this ill;
      That when thou speak'st thou may'st be just,
         and clear in judging still.

   5  Behold, I in iniquity
         was formed the womb within;
      My mother also me conceived
         in guiltiness and sin.

   6  Behold, thou in the inward parts
         with truth delighted art;
      And wisdom thou shalt make me know
         within the hidden part.

   7  Do thou with hyssop sprinkle me,
         I shall be cleansed so;
      Yea, wash thou me, and then I shall
         be whiter than the snow.

   8  Of gladness and of joyfulness
         make me to hear the voice;
      That so these very bones which thou
         hast broken may rejoice.

   9  All mine iniquities blot out,
         thy face hide from my sin.
  10  Create a clean heart, Lord, renew
         a right sp'rit me within.

  11  Cast me not from thy sight, nor take
         thy Holy Sp'rit away.
  12  Restore me thy salvation's joy;
         with thy free Sp'rit me stay.

  13  Then will I teach thy ways unto
         those that transgressors be;
      And those that sinners are shall then
         be turned unto thee.

  14  O God, of my salvation God,
         me from blood-guiltiness
      Set free; then shall my tongue aloud
         sing of thy righteousness.

  15  My closed lips, O Lord, by thee
         let them be opened;
      Then shall thy praises by my mouth
         abroad be published.

  16  For thou desir'st not sacrifice,
         else would I give it thee;
      Nor wilt thou with burnt-offering
         at all delighted be.

  17  A broken spirit is to God
         a pleasing sacrifice:
      A broken and a contrite heart,
         Lord, thou wilt not despise.

  18  Show kindness, and do good, O Lord,
         to Zion, thine own hill:
      The walls of thy Jerusalem
         build up of thy good will.

  19  Then righteous off'rings shall thee please,
         and off'rings burnt, which they
      With whole burnt-off'rings, and with calves,
         shall on thine altar lay.


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