Bringing Back the Joy
David messed up big time! The king of Israel, the spiritual leader of the nation, the man whom God said had a heart after Him, in a season of weakness fell to temptation. He committed adultery with Bathsheba and then to cover his tracks, he had her husband Urriah killed. David’s story and many others like his in the Bible should dispel the myth once and for all that Christians are perfect. Godly people do some ungodly things. And even though we have forgiveness with God, we still pay the consequences of sin. So not surprisingly, David had lost the joy of God’s salvation. How could he not!
Setting: This Psalm is attributed to David after Nathan confronted him about his sin of adultery with Bathsheba (see 2 Sam. 12). It’s a prayer for God’s mercy and forgiveness. It’s a prayer of renewal, a prayer for the restoration of the joy of God’s salvation in David’s life.
The Joy of God’s Salvation (Focal Verse, 51:12)
David has lost the joy of God’s salvation and he cries out for mercy according to God’s “unfailing love” and “great compassion” (v.1). He asks God to “blot out” his transgressions, his sin. David’s sin has been exposed and he is now humbled as he comes before God. Our approach to God must always be with humility and it must be a coming to him as one in need of his mercy. We have no claim on God, we cannot come before him with a sense of entitlement. We come in humility, as needy people and we come on the basis of God’s mercy, his compassion.
Furthermore, David asks God to “wash away all” of his iniquity and to be cleansed from his sin (v.2). Only God can provide what David needs, a full and complete cleansing from sin, no half measures. But this full cleansing comes to those who own up to their sin, David is now at the place where he can say, “I’m guilty, I’m acknowledging ‘my sin.’”
David is descriptive as to how he has gotten himself in this condition.
How That Joy Is Lost (“my sin ...
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