July 18th Psalm 51
A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba
A Prayer for cleansing
1: Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2: Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3: For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4: Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. 5: Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6: Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 7: Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8: Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 9: Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 10: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11: Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12: Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13: Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. 14: Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. 15: O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. 16: For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. 17: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. 18: Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. 19: Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.
To the chief musician
Maschil A Psalm of David when Deog the Edomite came and told Saul and said unto him David is come to the house of Ahimelech
God’s Judgement and Mercy
1: Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually. 2: Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp rasor, working deceitfully. 3: Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah. 4: Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue. 5: God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah. 6: The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him: 7: Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness. 8: But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. 9: I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints.
To the chief musician, upon Mahalath
Today we are reading Psalm 51 & 52. The First Psalm 51 Has a title ‘It is a Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba’. This Psalm is David’s prayer to the Lord at the contrition he felt at his sin. He says to the Lord, Have mercy upon me O God. And the mercy of the Lord is the withholding of judgment on his life and soul. He knows he has sinned now he bows his head to pray that the Lord will at least be kind to him in judgment. He knows that the consequences of his sin will be serious and involve the shedding of blood. He says according to your boundless tender mercy blot out my sins. Wash me completely he says and make me clean again – because, says David, I acknowledge my many transgressions and my sin is always before my eyes. I have sinned against you and you alone and I have done an evil thing in your sight. You will be right when you judge me. I was a sinner from my earliest moments and even at my conception I was a unclean. Yet you look for truth in my inner soul and in my deepest moments you make me to be wise. Flush me through and I will be clean – wash me and then I will be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness again so that these old broken bones may rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Create within me a pure mind, O Lord and give me a totally new spirit. Do not banish me from your presence and do not take away my anointing. Restore to me the joy of your deliverance and lift me up with your liberating spirit. If you do this for me, then I will be able to teach transgressors your righteous ways according to law and sinners will be turned back to you. Deliver me from the guilt of the blood that I have shed. O God, Save me and I will sing loudly of your righteousness. O Lord open my lips and my mouth so that I can sing your praises again. Because I know that you do not want sacrifices from me and that you do not delight in burnt offerings, as much, as you prefer the sacrifice of a broken spirit and a heart that is truly contrite. These things you do not despise. Do good to your people again for your own pleasure and rebuild the walls of the city. Then you will be pleased with the righteous sacrifices of the Law, with burnt offerings and then Israel will offer bullocks on your altar. None of this is directly applicable to the Christian whose sins are all forgiven. David under the old covenant struggled with sin all his life but he could always go and offer a sin offering and walk away in a state of peace. But it was always a temporary peace whereas believers are brought into a state of peace with God that is permanent. Christ has offered himself once for all and we, christians in Christ are eternally at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. When christians sin as we will, confession restores us to fellowship. In Psalm 52 David gives instruction at a time when David was betrayed by Deog the Edomite who told Saul were he was living in secret. David says, why have you boasted in your mischief – mighty man Deog? Don’t you know says David that the goodness of God toward me endures forever? You have conspired mischief against me. Your tongue is like an assassins dagger. You love evil more than good and you love telling lies rather than the truth. Think about that !! You love words that deceive and then destroy. Therefore God will destroy you forever. He will snatch you from your home and pluck you up out of the land of the living. Think about that !! All the righteous will see it and fear the Lord and laugh at you. They will say this was the man who did not trust in the Lord but trusted in his wealth and made himself strong in wickedness. But as for me I am like a green olive tree in the house of the Lord. I will trust in the mercy of the Lord for ever and ever. Then David says to the Lord, I am going to praise you forever because you have done all this and I will wait on your name because it is a good name among your holy people. This Psalm was sent to the chief Choirmaster during the time of great dancing.