POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan

Psalm 51 – Our Great Need for Forgiveness and Cleansing

This Psalm begins with a desperate cry and acknowledgedment of a great need for mercy. This mercy comes from a belief about God; that his mercy would come only according to something of God’s very nature. The plea for mercy is according to the steadfast love of God and from his wells which are full of mercy, no, abundant mercy. David cries out to God for his transgressions to be “blotted out” – literally to be wiped away. The Psalmist (David) shows his awareness of the breadth and the reality and the sickness of his sin – it is ever before Him. He also knows against WHOM he has sinned. The context of David’s life could have brought forth a litany of candidates whom he had sinned against. Adultery with Bathsheba, Murder and Deception with Uriah, his hypocrisy exhibited before Nathan, the prophet of God...All of these people could have been listed as those who had been wronged by David. David knew a deeper reality; all sin is ultimately against God. He also was well aware that God, our holy and just God, is right in judging his sin. David’s problem of sin was not isolated to a few incidents of disobedience, jaunts in adolescence as it were, No! David knew that sin was with him from his birth – he was conceived in it; it stained his very nature. What did God desire of him? God desires none other than Truth in his inner being a heart of integrity, upright before the Almighty. When one sees the reality of our sin and the desire of God for righteousness – we realize how short we fall and the cry that flows from the human heart upon this realization follows in this Psalm. There is indeed, a heaviness and burden of carrying our sins – so the soul does cry out for what is voiced loudly in these passages. First, a desire to be clean, to be cleansed, to have a new heart is needed in the soul laid b are by God. Second, a desire to have the bones God has crushed (under the burden and guilt of our sin), would be able to rejoice. If God can clean me, restore me, and lift me out of my mess – yes even glory might rise in the soul. This then leads to a testimony, if God would forgive and have mercy, cleanse and bring rejoicing – there will be a life change, a change of heart wrought in contrition. “Then I will teach transgressors your way” “His praise will be on our lips” How shall all of this occur – through sacrifices – no, this is not what God requires (verse 16), but rather a broken and contrite heart (verse 17). Repentance in light of the reality of our sin – not through our own efforts (sacrifices) but through contrition (repentance) is where forgiveness and mercy shall be found. In such realities the walls of he holy city, Jerusalem, might be restored, and the joy of the Lord, the goodness and favor of God, may rest upon his people.