Journey to Jerusalem Day 34
Monday, March 22 Psalm 51:1-6
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
“Mercy occurs when the person from whom I have a right to expect nothing gives me everything.” (Fil Anderson, Renovare podcast) This passage is all about God’s mercy. David’s sins were some of the worst: premeditated murder, adultery, deceit, all done to others but ultimately God is the one who was sinned against. We have no right to expect anything from God just like David, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
God forgave David because he acknowledged that he was born a sinner and fell on his face in repentance. David knew he would have to live the rest of his life with the consequences of these sins. David also knew God was a God of mercy and would forgive him if he asked sincerely.
Contrast that with Judas Iscariot who after betraying Jesus saw no hope, only despair. So, in despair of what he had done, he went and hanged himself. But we can be like David and accept God’s mercy freely given when he sent his Son to die for us and remove our sin. Hallelujah!
I will love you, O Lord, and thank you and confess to your name because you have forgiven my greatly wicked deeds. To your grace I ascribe it, and to your mercy, that you have melted away my sins as if they were ice.
--Augustine’s Confessions 2.15 (44)