This is a Psalms post.
If you haven't noticed by now, I love the book of Psalms. I absolutely love it. I could come up with endless posts on this book, and I even might (as you people seem to comment positively and ask for more!).I try and read my Bible everyday, and a couple Psalms are always in my readings. It is definitely the most read book in my Bible. It is marked up and the side margins are filled with my notes and thoughts (usually when it gets too marked up I buy a new translation and start again).
Today I want to talk about Psalm 51. I've actually done a post on this Psalm before but I am going to do another. It is just that good. I have been reading it each time I open my Bible, out loud, for ...around 3 months now...and I want to share a little about it with you.
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.
7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
build up the walls of Jerusalem;
19 then will you delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.
(That was The English Standard Translation. Click HERE for the text in The Message.)
Powerful right? What a picture of God's never ending mercy and unfailing love, even when we are ungrateful, wretched, rotten, habitually sinning messes.
But let me share something with you that will make this Psalm seem all the more powerful. It was written by King David, shortly after he made the 2 biggest mistakes of his life. This Psalm came out of a time he was crying out to God for much needed forgiveness, and God gave it to him!
(Quick background: David was king of Israel. He was a warrior and a worshiper. His army went out to battle, but he decided to be a bum of a leader and stay home and just let his mighty men defeat people for him. While he is sitting home his neighbor's-also one of his mighty men, named Uriah- wife decides she wants to take a bath. On the roof -yeah. Seriously?! Yes. Bathsheba bathes on roofs. Why? Anyway...Long story short, David finds Bathsheba, the roof-bathing wife of Uriah to be pretty good looking, so he decides to go and commit adultery with her while Uriah is out fighting. And oops, she gets pregnant. So David plans a cover up. He'll have Uriah come home on leave from battle, sleep with his wife, and everything will be fine! Nope. Doesn't work. Uriah is a noble man who will not leave his-actually DAVID'S- task; he stays on fighting beside his men. Uhoh. So instead David just sets up Uriah's murder. The King of Israel is now an adulterer and a murderer. A prophet comes and calls him out on his crap, and THEN David writes this Psalm. Wow. Context makes it seems even more amazing, yeah?)
People mess up.We're sinners. Sinners sin. King David, he messed up, BIG TIME. David was a jacked up mess. But yet, God calls him "a man after His own heart." Jesus even came out of His family line and was called "The Son of David" in the New Testament. What??!!!! But David was a disaster! God, you are so amazing!
I mess up. No, I don't plan murders or commit any "big" sins, but guess what. Sin is sin. It is all the same in God's eyes. All of us are big, bad, unfaithful, sinning disasters, just like David, and everyone else who has ever lived or will live. I mess up every single day. I need forgiveness every single day. And if you're honest, you do to. Maybe you aren't off committing adultery or killing your friends, but you do things that are not pleasing in the eyes of God. You say things that don't please him. You think things that don't please him. You're a mess. Me too. That is why we are all so desperately in need of a Savior, like Jesus, and a loving, forgiving Father, like God.
Along with this Psalm I always think of a song (as well as the Jon Foreman song in the last post about this Psalm) by The Almost (aka the fantastic Aaron Gillespie) called Amazing, Because it is. The song is a modified version of the classic Amazing Grace; I love it. Verse two and the chorus go like this:
"I'm the type of person who lets fear drive me,
I'm the type of guy that lets it drive.
Cause I'm addicted, I'm needy, I'm lost without you.
I need you, I need you.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I'm found,
Was blind but now I see.
I just wanna see."
No matter how many times you and I mess up, now matter how "big" (or not so "big") it seems, God is always there to take us back again and wipe away our sins. We are LOST without him, but He is always there to make us clean again, no matter the size of the mess. And that just amazes me. People are a messy race. He is a holy God. And yet, through His Son's blood, he looks on us as pure and blameless. He makes us "as white as snow." He doesn't recall my sin. It is forgiven and forgotten.
Yours too, if you confess it to him and call on his mercy and grace.
If that doesn't totally blow you away you then...I don't know what will.