Many people in the world today say that the Bible has great stories and life lessons to be learned from them, but that they are just stories at best. Other words, they don’t believe real dudes like David existed, or Moses, Jeremiah, and so on. Well, if that was true, just think how the Bible would be written so differently. Anytime mankind writes something about himself, there is a sense of pride and glamour on ourselves. One of the reasons I believe the Bible wasn’t written by man but by God is because Man is not the focus; Man is not on a pedestal in the scriptures. In fact, the Bible puts man in need of a Savior.
Psalm 51 is one of those grimy texts where we can see the fallenness of man and how real David’s heart was toward God. To give some background, this Psalm is David’s confession of repentance to God after he had committed adultery which resulted in a pregnancy, lied about it, tried to cover it with taking Uriah (Bathsheba’s husband) from battle to sleep with Bathsheba, and murder including the baby dying. This was sin upon sin upon sin.
Though there are many things to highlight in this Psalm, I want to highlight three:
2. Though David was already forgiven, He still asked for forgiveness.
This is a critical point. Many believers think since God has already forgiven us that we don’t need to ask forgiveness. They would say something like “the cross justified us, why ask forgiveness if it’s already settled?” But the cross isn’t for us to not ask for forgiveness, it is the basis of which we know we will be forgiven when we ask. At the point of salvation, we are forgiven and as righteous and holy as we will ever be, because it only comes from Christ. However, there is a practical forgiveness and repentance for intimate fellowship with God that sin can still ruin. David realized this, and John in 1 John 1:9 did as well. Repentance is a lifestyle that never ends because we sin everyday, but we know we are His by faith based off of what Jesus did.
3. Though David committed all of those sins, not once are they mentioned.
In this whole Psalm, not once do you read David say anything his sexual immorality, murder, deceit, etc. I think it’s because David knew his problem was deeper than that. This is why he says “behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in my sin did my mother conceive me.” David knew that his problem was in his very nature. The outward sins that we can recognize are just the symptoms of a deeper issue. In verse 12, we see what really needed to happen to David; he needed his heart to continue to be changed as he says “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” When we are not joyful in the LORD and begin to look for that joy and satisfaction else where, that’s when drunkenness, drugs, adultery, and pornography now look appealing. But repentance is not just focused on symptoms; it is focused on our sinful nature and the crying out of transformation to be satisfied in Jesus alone.
Princeton Marcellis was born and raised in Dallas, TX and still currently resides there. He surrendered his life to Christ at the age of 16 after he attended his first Christian hip hop concert including the artists Tedashii, Trip Lee, and Dillon Chase. Now the LORD has given Princeton a passion for His glory and he just wants God to be glorified and the city redeemed.