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.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment.
Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.
You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Psalm 51 begins with an immediate plea for forgiveness; a request for mercy from the Lord. And that is followed by an admission of guilt and that forgiveness is undeserved. This Psalm makes it clear that the relationship between the Psalmist and God is of utmost importance. This applies to us as well.
This penitent plea raises some questions for us as the reader:
The Psalm concludes, “my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.” Friends, may we be honest in our confession to God and may we be authentic in our desire for change. May we too offer our thanks and praise for God’s love, mercy, and grace.
Merciful God, challenge us to be better Christians and to name You as the sole source of renewal and new life. Help us to be honest about our sin and brokenness in order for change to truly happen. Move us from brokenness to wholeness, holiness, forgiveness, and restoration so that may we seek to follow You and take on a life marked by sacrifice and discipline. Help us to remember to rejoice in the fact the You are with us in all moments of life and love us no matter what. Amen.