Today, Thursday May 04
“I Have Sinned”
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
“Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight-- That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.”
Psalm 51 is King David’s public psalm and confession of repentance! After Nathan the Prophet confronted David with his sins of adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah, David broke down and confessed his sin and then wrote this Psalm as a public testimony to be used at the temple to teach others how to deal with their sins against a holy and righteous God.
In today’s culture, it seems that we don’t want to call sin for what it is. We first want to make excuses and blame others for our sin just like Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden when God confronted them with their sin. Adam blamed Eve. “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate." (Genesis 3:12). Eve blamed the serpent. “And the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." (Genesis 3:13)
We not only make excuses and blame others, but we also don’t like the word sin. We say, “I made a mistake”, or “I have an issue”, or “I have a problem”. We call it anything but sin! When was the last time you heard a public official or someone in the news media use the word sin? They might say a deed was an evil crime or wicked, but you won’t hear the word sin.
David responded to Nathan’s finger pointing in his face and proclaiming, “You are the man!”, with these words in 2 Samuel 12:13, "I have sinned against the LORD." David had tried to hide and cover his sin for almost a year but could not get rid of the guilt and burden of it. Can you imagine what he felt every time he saw the empty seat at the dinner table where Uriah used to sit when the thirty mighty men would dine with him when they were home from war. Or what went through his mind every time he saw Joab who helped him set up the murder of Uriah.
My friend, we can try to cover our sin, excuse our sin, blame others for our sin, or even run from our sin, but God has wired us so that the guilt and burden of our sin will get heavier every day in our conscience, mind, and heart until we deal with God’s way! We can call it what we want, a mistake, a problem, a slip, an error, fault, or a issue, but the guilt is still the same. The truth is that we cannot live with the guilt of our sin, so we try to drown it out with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with sports, with pleasure, or even with religious activity.
There is only one way to remove the guilt of our sin and that is God’s way! David said, “I have sinned against the LORD!” David confessed his deeds of adultery and murder as that which was wrong. He did not whitewash his deed of adultery and murder. He called it names that spoke of it being wrong. Today we have nice names for evil deeds and evil names for nice deeds. But David called his awful deeds the right names. David gave eight different and damning but fitting names for his wicked deeds. We will discuss these names in more detail in tomorrow’s chat.
What dirt is to the body, sin is to the soul, the inner person, so it was right for David to feel defiled because of what he had done. By committing adultery and murder, he had crossed over the line God had drawn in His law ("transgression"); he had missed the mark God had set for him ("sin") and had yielded to his twisted sinful nature ("iniquity"). He had willfully rebelled against God, and no atonement was provided in the law for such deliberate sins (Lev. 20:10; Num. 35:31-32). David could appeal only to God's mercy, grace, and love (v. 1; Ex. 34:6-7; 2 Sam. 12:22).
So, David prays to God and makes a plea for pardon and forgiveness for his sin. We may think our great sin cannot be pardoned but Scripture says, "Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee" (Psalm 86:5).
Today, God is still ready to forgive and remove the guilt of our sin if we will repent, confess, and acknowledge that the blood of Jesus is the only way to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7-10).