(text Psalm 51:1-17)
If you were to describe one word of being a Christian, what would the word be? I believe the word that best describes a Christian is forgiven. What a beautiful word for the born-again Christian. Forgiven means pardon. We are forgiven in the eyes of God. That is a wonderful thought.
As Christians, we still have the sinful nature in us. So we have to ask the Lord for forgiveness to get back into fellowship with him. The Apostle Paul talks about struggling with the sinful nature in Romans chapter 7. When you received Jesus as your Savior, your sin nature is still in you until you die or when the rapture of the church takes place.
I believe the number one thing that hinders our prayers from getting to the ears of our Heavenly Father is unconfessed sins. In Psalm 66:18, if I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.
I want to look at how King David got to Psalm 51. As you know, he is repenting of his sins to the Lord. This Psalm is one of the best chapters in the Bible; I really love this Psalm. In 2 Samuel 11:1-27, David committed adultery with Bathsheba, who was married to Uriah. In verses 14-17, David commits murder. You can read these verses on how he commits murder. David tried his best to keep this sin hidden from everyone. The Bible says, “Be sure your sins will find you out.”
In 2 Samuel 12, the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to David. He told David a parable of two men; one was rich, and he had many lambs, but his neighbor had one little lamb. The rich man had a visitor come to see him. Instead of using one of his many lambs, the rich man killed the poor man’s one lamb and cooked it for his guest. Nathan asked David what should be done to the rich man? David said he should be put to death. Nathan said in verse 7, “Thou art the man.” The rich man in this parable was David.
Now, we come to Psalm 51.
Open your Bible to Psalm 51 and read this chapter as I go verse by verse in this message.
Verse 1. I read this verse and saw the brokenness of King David’s heart. He is coming before a Holy Righteous God. The first four words out of David’s mouth are, “Have mercy upon me.” David could have been put to death by the law of Moses. I am so thankful that we go to the Lord, and he shows us his lovingkindness and tender mercies. We will find out that the Lord will forgive him. (David and his family suffered the rest of his life for David’s sin.)
Verse 2. It is a good scrub-down. David wanted to be 100% clean with the Lord. Have you ever cleaned your skin so hard that it turned red? David was so serious about becoming clean with the Lord. What did Peter say to Jesus when he was going to wash Peter’s feet? “Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head” (John 13:9). Peter said, Lord, wash me from my feet to the top of my head. When you walk that close to the Lord, you want to be so clean.
Verse 3. David said to the Lord, “I have sinned.” That is the first step of getting right with the Lord. We need to acknowledge our sin and ask for forgiveness. David said, “My sin is ever before me.” It does not matter how good you think you are in hiding sin. It is ever before you, and that sin you do not want to confess is having an effect on your everyday life and those around you. How many sons and daughters suffer because their Christian parent wanted to hold onto their sin and not come clean with the Lord; their testimony was bad, and it gave a bitter taste in their kids’ mouths for the rest of their lives. To Christian parents, how many times a week do you pray for your lost son or daughter. Your prayer will not even reach the ears of the Lord if you will not get 100% right with him.
Verse 4. David said, “Against thee, thee only have I sinned.” He sinned against the God of the Universe. God is so Holy. You feared your earthly father, but how much do you fear your Heavenly Father? Maybe we need to ask ourselves that question.
Verse 5. David was “shapen in iniquity.” I talked about this in the introduction.
Verse 6. Do you really want to know truth? The Bible is Truth. Jesus is the Truth. Do you want to know wisdom? We have to ask God for wisdom, but it takes more than just asking for wisdom. You can ask the Lord every day for wisdom, but if you do not live by the Word of God and get to know the Word of God you will never have wisdom.
Verse 7. David is referring to the blood and water of purification of the law in Exodus 12:22; Lev 14:1-7; Num 19:1-19. Blood and water poured from our Savior’s side (John 19:34). Only the Lord can clean us this well. King David felt so dirty because of his sin, and he was longing to be so clean before his Holy God. By the way, baptism does not save you; only the blood of Jesus can wash your sins away.
Verse 8. David was longing to have the sweet fellowship he had with the Lord in the past. Even if the Lord allows your bones to be broken, you will still rejoice because you are now right with the Lord.
Verse 9. David said “all my iniquities,” not just adultery and murder, but all the rest of my sins.
Verse 10. Right heart = right spirit within me. The closer you walk with God, the cleaner you want to be, and also, you hate sin even more the closer you walk with him. The best thing in my life is the daily hand-in-hand walk I have with my Savior; it is so wonderful.
Verse 11. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit did not continually dwell in the saints like He does in the New Testament saints. It is not a good feeling walking at a distance from your Father.
Verse 12. Remember how you felt on the inside after you got saved. You felt so clean. That is such a wonderful feeling to have the joy of your salvation. I am reminded that the joy of the Lord is our strength; maybe that is why so many Christians are walking around feeling so weak. Their joy is gone because they live every day not right with their Father.
Verse 13. If you are not right with the Lord, how can you do something for him? You can, but you will not be as effective.
Verse 14. David said, “Deliver me from bloodguiltiness.” He had Uriah killed in battle. David, according to the law, was to be put to death. The punishment was so severe on David’s family; the sword never left them.
Verse 15. When you are in full fellowship with the Lord, this will happen — I like to say ‘when you are walking hand in hand with Jesus.’ This is how you will feel getting right with the Lord.
Verse 16. What the Lord wants from you more than anything is obedience.
Verse 17. What the Lord wants from you is sincere repentance for your sins. David came to Him with a broken spirit and a broken and a contrite heart. It so pleases the Lord for us to yield to Him.
Psalm 26:2 “Examine me, O Lord and prove me: try my reins and my heart.” Prove me means test me, and try my reins and heart means examine my motive. If you are right with the Lord, your motive will be right.
Psalm 17:3b. King David said, “Thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing.” Wow! What a statement, “and shalt find nothing.” When we get right with the Lord, we can say the same thing as David did. What I believe separated King David from the rest of the kings was he was willing to say that he had sinned, and he was willing to confess it to the Lord.
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