Selected Psalms – Psalm 51 Pt. 2

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight….Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desire faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. – Psalm 51:3-6

Come and know thyself and so be true to yourself! Another person’s story becoming the template for our own. Another person to whom God deemed worthy and instructive to place in his Book. The inclusion of so many who have fallen is testimony to the state we all find ourselves. There is no one righteous, not even one – Rom 3:11. Yet, in the same breath, God’s Book testifies on how the fallen are raised back up again. Testimony of Who God is: His ways, His mind, His heart, His will and His grace. Let’s be clear, any fool can make a mistake (well let us call it for what it is, SIN). Have we not all been foolish in all kinds of manner? But it takes more than a fool to respond to our ‘mistakes’ in a God-hearted manner and seek correction through the provision God provides.

Come to know thyself and so be true to yourself. For there is hope to all when we fall into sin and become foolish in the decisions we make. Grace abounds. Christ has died once and for all. Christ is risen and sin and death has been conquered through the cross. Why wallow in sins past and present? Why hide and imagine no one knows? David came to the point of admitting, Against you, you only, have I sinned… But what about Bathsheba and her family? What about Uriah….? These, and others, do matter just as the ‘others’ in our lives matter when we sin. But it is God, in the end, to whom we sin against, and to God alone, we cannot hide. The seemingly invisible always remains visible before God.

What a situation David found himself in. A simple beginning that became so complex. The hole just got deeper and deeper as he sought a way out. What do I do when sin occurs? In hindsight and experience, what should I do when sin comes, ‘Knocking on the door’?

Alas, we find ourselves still failing. In David, we find the grace of God in action- for it was first through Nathan the prophet. What a blessing it is when faithful discerning folk might give a little ‘tap upon the shoulder’. But the real work is done by God himself when he so speaks his, often, mysterious word in his mysterious way and that voice comes into our mind to understand our self and so know our self before God. And so learn what we must do. For David, his first step was to stop the cover-up. This allowed him to be true to himself and appraise himself of all his wrongdoing and plead for mercy (v1). Again, on his knowledge of God’s person whom he had come to know previously. Now with eyes open, David could say, “I know my transgressions…against you (God) have I sinned.” David remembers that God is right in his verdict (no room for excuses or lightening his actions). God is justified when he passes judgement (v4).

There is also a knowledge of how sin is not only an act in time but sin comes from a sinful person- sinful from birth (v5). And greater knowledge that despite such sinfulness God still desires faithfulness and to which God instils wisdom while being formed in the womb (v6) (the mysteries of God in all creation!). David also sees that God does not desire some form of ‘sacrifice’ from us to cover our sin and pay some self- penalty. What God desires is a “Broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart” (v17) the same as Jesus spoke, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matt. 5;3.

Come to know thyself and so be true to yourself. In Christ we find the well to which we may come and draw from- freely, the grace and forgiveness of God. God forgives all our sin.

There is more to David’s story so we continue next week. I include now a part of someone else’s prayer. A private prayer made public (John Baillie 1936).

PRAYER: O Father in heaven, who didst fashion my limbs to serve thee and my soul to follow hard after thee, with sorrow and contrition of heart I acknowledge before thee the faults and failures of the day that is now past. Too long, O Father, have I tried thy patience; too often have I betrayed the sacred trust thou hast given me to keep; yet thou art still willing  that I should come to thee in lowliness of heart, as now I do, beseeching thee to drown my transgressions in the sea of thy own infinite love……Amen

(Written by Kevin Carlson)

HYMN: Standing on the Promises of Christ the Lord by Mango Praise