“Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy steadfast love; according to thy abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity; and cleanse me from my sin!” Psalm 51:1-2
Have you ever stopped to think about the marvel we call grace? David was a despicable man and knew from first hand experience just about every sin in the book. But he was also a man who believed with all his heart that God loved him and would forgive him if he came to God with a contrite and repentant heart.
David understood that there was nothing he could do or say that would make God love him more than He already did and there was nothing he could do that could make God love him any less.
Notice, David, called out, “have mercy on me, O God, according to thy steadfast love.” David didn’t come to God saying, “look at what I’ve done God, look at how well I’ve kept your commandments,” or “I’m a great guy God, surely I deserve forgiveness.” Instead, forgiveness of sins and removal of guilt and shame are all based upon God’s steadfast love.
We may fail God time after time. We may turn our back on God and allow ourselves to be carried along by sin, but God doesn’t give up or turn away from us because He loves us with a deep, never ending love. Think about that. God, who created the universe and everything in it, loves you. That is amazing love.
Romans 5:8 reminds us, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God doesn’t wait for us to clean up our act before He will love us; instead while we are still in our sins His love is poured out for us at Calvary.
David could come to God with confidence because he knew God and experienced God in his life. David didn’t just know about God, but knew Him as the God who lived and dwelt within his soul. When he came to Jesus it wasn’t with some, “I hope you can forgive me,” statement, but with boldness and assurance. “Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity; and cleanse me from my sin,” are bold statements of faith and trust in the love and power of God to forgive.
David knew his sin and he didn’t need to outline it for God and dwell upon the evilness of his actions. Instead, he understood God knew the grievousness of what he had done, so he came to God seeking the peace and reconciliation that only God could give.
David uses three important phrases in these two little verses in Psalm 51; they are “blot out,” “wash me thoroughly,” and “cleanse me.” Now notice what it is that needs forgiven, “my transgressions,” “my iniquity,” and “my sin.” David takes ownership of his sins and doesn’t try to make excuses or fluff off the consequences of his transgressions.
If we are serious about repentance and seeking God’s forgiveness of sin then we also need to take ownership of our sins and admit to them. So often we make excuses and try to make them seem less than they really are. We blame others for our iniquities and seek out some sort of wiggle room so that we can feel better for our falling into sin.
David wrote, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in thy sight, so that thou are justified in thy sentence and blameless in thy judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Psalm 51:3-5
David did not take his sins lightly; he knew how bad they were and it tore him up inside. He understood his sins, though committed against people, were really committed against God because we are all the children of God, and what is done to one of us is done to God.
He knew that God was justified in judging him and finding him guilty of sin and that he deserved punishment and death for such a crime. But this is what makes this Psalm so amazing is that in spite of all the condemnation that David deserved, instead he received grace, forgiveness and restoration at the hand of our forgiving God. In spite of everything he had done David trusted God to forgive him based totally upon God’s “steadfast love,” and “abundant mercy.”
No wonder Paul in Hebrews 4 can write “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (v. 16) With confidence we can approach the “throne of grace,” and it is there that we find mercy and grace. Paul says it is at the throne of grace that we are to come “in time of need.” What is our time of need? When we sin and fall and are broken under the weight of guilt and a bruised conscience, that is our time of need.
Instead of running from God, as Adam and Eve did, we are to come running to God when we sin. Don’t put it off for days or make excuses, but instead confess and repent before God. Bring Him your struggles, sins, transgressions and indifference and throw it at the foot of the cross and allow His grace to be sufficient.
Like David trust God to forgive and forget your sin because of His steadfast love. Allow God to wash away the stain of sin, blot out the tape that runs over and over in your mind continually condemning you of past sins, and cleanse us from the results of a broken conscience.
God who gave His Son to die for you loves you unconditionally. You are precious in His sight and He longs to have you come back to Him. If your sins seem too big to be forgiven just remember that is not true. No sin is too big that God can’t and won’t forgive when we come with an honest and repentant heart.
“Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.” Psalm 51:6-9 (italics supplied)
* Please remember to pray for the Christians who are suffering persecution for their faith in many countries around the world. There is a great evil settling on this earth and we must be vigilant in our prayers and stay close to Christ. Our hope is in Christ and he is faithful to his people. Please take the time to read about what is taking place in the world around us at http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/ there is much more on the internet…