Psalm 51


This past Sunday's sermon:

This morning I want to share with you one of my favorite pieces of scripture in the entire Bible…

Psalm 51.

So, if you would turn with me now to Psalm 51 in your Bibles. And in case you are wondering where in your Bible Psalm 51 is, it would be the chapter right after 50 and right before chapter 52…

I’d like to read David’s word’s to you now…

For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. 5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. 6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. 14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. 15 Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 My sacrifice, O God, is[b] a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

18 May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Now before delving into David’s prayer to God, I’d like to give you a little background as to where all this is coming from…

In 2 Samuel 11 we read this story about King David and this woman you may know by the name of Bathsheba…

If you don’t know this story let me summarize it for you. Powerful man sees girl from across the way. Powerful man sends for the girl. The girl is married to a soldier in the powerful man’s army. But that didn’t stop the powerful man, he decided that he would have the girl no matter what. And that’s what he did. Afterwards the powerful man finds out the girl is pregnant. In the end the powerful man has the soldier killed and takes the girl to be his wife…

So, David has Bathsheba’s husband killed, and takes her to be his wife. But this is not the end of the story, it’s more like the beginning…

The last sentence written in 2 Samuel 11 says, “But the thing David had done displeased the Lord.” This is one powerful sentence. Even though God loves us all unconditionally, He can still be disappointed. And when scripture points out that the Lord God is displeased we should pay attention.

In 2 Samuel 12 we see the Lord Himself sends his prophet Nathan to go and tell David how he royally messed up. So much so that Nathan told him that God was going to bring calamity to David’s household. Of course, Nathan describes the calamity in a bit more detail. And after Nathan describes what is to come David repents…

But it was too late. There would be consequences, and those consequences ultimately broke David…the powerful king that God had anointed would be crushed…

You see Psalm 51 is David’s lament to the Lord, it’s his plea for forgiveness after God hands down His judgement upon him. If you can imagine the scene in your head…

David is in his house praying to God…the son that Bathsheba gave birth to has been stricken with a mysterious illness. For seven days and nights David fasts and prays to God for his son and for forgiveness…and then his son dies.

If you have ever lost a loved one, a friend, a family member then you know how crushed you felt inside…

However, when David’s son dies he gets up, he takes a bath, puts on lotions, new clothes and goes into the Lord’s house and worship’s God.

His servants are bewildered by this and ask why are you acting this way? While your son was dying you fasted and cried, but now your son is dead you get up and eat…his response was that if he prayed God might show him mercy…and let his son live…but now he is dead…he can’t bring him back…

And this brings us back to Psalm 51…from the first verse David is asking for mercy and acknowledges God’s unfailing love…he owns up to his sin in verse 3. He asks to be cleansed and purified in verse 7. In verse 8 david asks God to show him joy and gladness in the bones that have been crushed. In verse 11 David please with God to not be cast from his Holy presence. David continues his prayer for salvation in verse 12. He tells God that he will teach the world about God’s ways and declare his praise and asks God to accept his broken spirit as a sacrifice in verses 13, 15, 17.

So why is this one of my favorite pieces of scripture? You see that even though David truly sins against God, God forgave him, and even though God allowed David’s son to die, David still praised God. Regardless how broken David was…

As we all have at one point or another David sinned against God…there were consequences…we all have faced our own set of consequences…

But the lesson here is how David overcame his consequences…his loss…even during the storm David worshiped and praised God…

As humans, it’s hard for us to always see the good and hope during the bad times but God gave us hope through his son…Jesus Christ…

That we may always see the light in the dark…the hope when all seems lost…

Now it’s up to you as to whether on not you see that light, feel the hope in Christ Jesus…

Follow Us
  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Twitter Basic Black
  • Facebook Basic Black
Recent Posts