So many things come to mind when I read through Psalm 51. It’s a Prayer of Repentance from David. He describes, what I believe, is the way a believer lives his life; realizing that he is dirty, and needs to be washed clean by our sweet Savior, Jesus Christ.
While we have “once and for all” (1 Peter 3:18, Hebrews 7:27) been washed clean of our sins, we still need to repent of them and confess them to God. We need to ask God to “wash us from our guilt and cleanse us from our sin”(v2). We can rejoice in this that our Lord has been the ultimate, final sacrifice for our sins.
Awareness of Sin:
As I reflect on v3, God’s Word shows that our awareness and consciousness of our sins increases. I love what David says: “You desire integrity in the inner self, and You teach me wisdom deep within.” This is such a wonderful example of:
- how scripture supports itself, and
- the living example of Christ loving His Bride, the Church — He desires to sanctify her.
When I think of a beautiful and strong bride, I now think of one that has integrity. One who is filled with God’s Spirit. One that seeks wisdom. A woman that is defined by Proverbs 31, and a woman that is described in Ephesians 5:25-28 is what comes to mind. We need to seek this kind of woman as well. We must be a husband that this type of woman is looking for.
All gracious affections [feelings, emotions] that are a sweet [aroma] to Christ . . . are brokenhearted affections. A truly Christian love, either to God or men, is a humble brokenhearted love. The desires of the saints, however earnest, are humble desires: their hope is a humble hope; and their joy, even when it is unspeakable, and full of glory, is a humble brokenhearted joy…
A Clean Heart:
“God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” David is asking God to make a new heart for him, and a clean heart, one that is not spotted or blemished by sin. We must as this as well.
Then, he asks God to renew a steadfast, or an unwavering, spirit within him. Hence, let us ask God to do the same for us each and every day.
David says, “Then I will teach the rebellious Your ways” — once we see and experience the love of God and His mercy and grace upon our lives, we will tell everyone of it, we will evangelize the lost or “rebellious”. “Lord, open my lips and my mouth will declare Your praise.”
“Be gracious to me, God, according to Your faithful love; according to Your abundant compassion; blot out my rebellion. Wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin. For I am conscious of my rebellion, and my sin is always before me. Against You — You alone — I have sinned and done this evil in Your sight.
So You are right when You pass sentence; You are blameless when You judge. Indeed, I was guilty when I was born; I was sinful when my mother conceived me. Surely You desire integrity in the inner self, and You teach me wisdom deep within. Purify 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. Turn Your face away from my sins and blot out all my guilt.
God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not banish me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore the joy of Your salvation to me, and give me a willing spirit. Then I will teach the rebellious Your ways, and sinners will return to You. Save me from the guilt of bloodshed, God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing of Your righteousness. Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise.
You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it; You are not pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart. In Your good pleasure, cause Zion to prosper; build the walls of Jerusalem. Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices, whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on Your altar.”