“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” (Psa. 51:1-2)
Psalm 51 is an amazing expression of repentance as David pleas for God’s forgiveness, mercy, cleansing, and purification from his sins of murder and adultery. As sinful humans living in a fallen world, we will all sin and we all fall short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23).
But regardless of how “bad” our sin may be, God always offers forgiveness to those who confess their sins and repent. We are not to take sin lightly, and the consequences of our sin may sometimes be lasting and damaging. But the hope and promise we have is that in God’s eyes, we are ultimately forgiven and righteous when we are repentant and have a contrite heart. He can cleanse and wash away the stain of our sin.
I remember a time in my life where the words of this Psalm became my own prayer, as I was caught in some traps of sin that were damaging not only my life, but my walk with the Lord. Knowing where I came from and the fact that God still loves me and forgives me is, like David, is a reason that “my mouth will declare [His] praise”! (v15) If we ever fall into sin, God wants us to repent, turn away from that sin completely, and turn back to Him!
If you ever find yourself in that situation, think of David’s prayer: “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” God will never turn down a sinner who truly repents.
Lord, we are not perfect, only You are. But because of the perfection of Your Son Jesus Christ, who became sin even though He knew no sin, we can be and ARE washed clean through Christ’s sacrifice alone. Thank you Lord for loving us so much and giving us Your mercy and grace, even though we don’t deserve it. May we forever live lives that reflect that we are a new creation in Christ! Amen!
[From October 12, 2018]