Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Psalm 51:1-3
The difference between David and the other leaders who sinned against God is that David is genuinely heartbroken before the Lord over his sin and truly repentant.
Where other leaders tried to justify their actions or blame others, David takes ownership of his sin and begs for God’s forgiveness. He craves a restored relationship with God. David and God have been through a lot and he doesn’t want to lose that. God is always the one David looked to for provision and hope.
Psalm 51 is David’s beautiful and heartfelt prayer of confession to God. There is Godly sorrow associated with sin. It is a big deal and separates us from our Creator and Author of life. It shifts us off the path God has for us. It should break our hearts. But we all know, and have likely experienced, many various reactions to our sin. We try to deny it, excuse it, hide it, cover it, fix it. We try to move on, or just as destructive, we let it rot us from the inside out, stuck in depression and despair over our inability to make things right. But God is loving, gracious, and merciful. He doesn’t want us stuck in the sin pit. There is a way out. He wants us to come to him, confess, and decide to move away from it with His help. There is freedom for the soul in sorrowfully acknowledging our sin before God. Later Jesus will come and say, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4). Mourning for our sins results in the comfort found in forgiveness and reconciliation. We don’t get there without the mourning.
We will mourn over many things in this life that is riddled with pain and suffering. Will we mourn equally for our sins?
Challenge: Think about how do you generally react when you are faced with your sin. Read Psalm 51 and David’s response to his sin. Make this your prayer to God.