As a part of my Lenten devotions in 2019, I studied Psalm 51. I have gained some insights into this chapter. Below are the thoughts that came to me. This post covers verses 1 through 6.

Have mercy on me, O God,

according to your steadfast love;

David pleads with God for mercy- God’s love that he and we don’t deserve. He asks this not because he believes he deserves it but because of God’s great love for His children.

according to your abundant mercy

blot out my transgressions.

David asks, even begs, God to remove his sins from his heart and from his mind. He believes God will do this because of God’s abounding love.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

David realizes that his sin has made him dirty, to the point of filthiness. He beseeches God to remove the nasty junk from him. He wants all that sin removed from him.

and cleanse me from my sin!

The word cleanse implies a deep, down to the root, cleaning. Not just a surface rinsing but a thorough removal of dirt or sin. David recognizes his ownership of his action-- he could have blamed Bathsheba, the enemy his people were fighting, and Uriah but he chose to call it as it was—his sin.

For I know my transgressions,

David knows his sins. Did we notice that he wrote transgressions? He must have taken some time to reflect on what Nathan, the prophet, told him. Either that or God revealed each transgression he committed through visions.

and my sin is ever before me.

David knows that, although he is a king, he can’t get away from his sin on his own. He realizes that only through God can he move on. Something a lot of us who live today need to face.

Against you, you only, have I sinned

and done what is evil in your sight,

David realizes that God was the ultimate ‘injured party’ in what he has done. Those sinful acts involved others but, when all things were said and done, God was the one who was hurt.

so that you may be justified in your words

and blameless in your judgment.

David sees his discipline coming from God. He felt the need to allow God to deal with him for His words and judgment to be appropriate.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,

David reminds God, not that he had to, that he was brought into this sinful world. Why does he state this?

and in sin did my mother conceive me.

David confesses his sinfulness has been in him from his very beginning.

Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,

David realizes God seeks the truth from us, complete and whole truth, not lip service.

and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

David acknowledges that God teaches him through his very being, his soul.

During this time of COVID Isolation, it is important that we spend time with God. May He continue to bless you and yours during these days.