Reading: Psalm 51:1-19
Focus: Psalm 51:1-2
Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.
Let’s start by leveling the playing field. Can we agree that we’re all sinners? Can we also agree that, while all transgressions are different, it only takes one to disqualify us from eternal life? Only one tiny little “oops” and it’s over. Have a quick look at Romans 3:23.
Sometimes, though, there’s an especially egregious error. One that’s haunting. One so big that you can’t get though every day motions without lingering thoughts of it. That’s where we find David in this passage. It took him a while to admit it, but now he’s miserable. And he takes it to God. Ever been there?
I love that God built in conscience and guilt. As weird as that sounds, conscience is the thing that takes us from sin to repentance. God doesn’t want us to live in misery and detest. He wants us to salvage our relationship with Him! He wants us to come to Him in conversation – in prayer – where He finally has our attention.
When David gets to repentance, the first step in his prayer is the same as ours should be. Blot out the stain… purify me from my sin. Further conversation with God cannot take place until the stain is blotted out. So how does that happen, exactly?
In a word? Jesus.
Simply stated, our sin stands between us and God. In his love for us, Jesus carried ALL of our sin to the cross. When I make Jesus my savior, my sins are added to the cross, and Jesus is the stain remover. The barrier is gone, and the conversation with God begins!
Although the Psalm 51 prayer is specific to David’s blemish against Uriah, it is definitely not exclusive to him. He goes on goes on to pray for peace of conscience, for grace to go and live as God would have him live, for access to God, and a promise to do good for the souls of others. Sounds like a pretty good formula for prayer to me, particularly when we’re struggling with big sin that won’t let go.
Friends, if you haven’t made Jesus your Savior, that’s your first step. If you’d like to accept the gift He gave by including your sins on His cross, you can pray a simple prayer right now.
Jesus, thank you for dying for me on the cross. I’m sorry for the things in my life that have been wrong. I turn away from them and receive your gift of forgiveness. I ask you to help me lead the kind of life that you created me to lead. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Amen.
So if you’re struggling with something, big or small, you gotta have Jesus first. If that “something” is big and haunting, a Psalm 51 conversation with God might be in order. God loves you and wants to restore you. Every time.
God, thank you for giving me Jesus to blot out my stains. When I falter, give me the conscience to repent and restore my relationship with you. Help me to walk with you and keep your will in my way. In Jesus’ name, Amen.