PSALM 51

 

Verse of the Week

“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.” [Psalm 51:1]

The Main Idea

Psalm 51 is giving us a great look at the posture of David’s heart. David, a mighty king anointed by God and identified by scripture as a man after God’s own heart. A man who had it all but was still susceptible to sin just as we all are. We see a man who understands who he is in his sinful state, and truly sees who God is and his need for Him. We see David’s posture of humility, repentance, and complete dependence on the grace and mercy of God. This posture not only leads to our understanding of the Gospel, but also ignites and marks our growth in the Gospel.

Major Points

 

Point 1 - Humility

David was a king who was anointed by God. David constantly triumphed. He was a king who had all that he wanted or needed. He defeated lions, bears, and Goliath. We can only think that David came to a place where he started to believe in his own hype. He started to rely more on his own strength,  and ability. We see in this psalm as David committed sin before God it led him back to a place of humility before God. It allowed David to once again see and understand that he is nothing without God. That in and amongst himself he is only sinful flesh. As christians we struggle and battle against sin. Even though as we walk and grow in Christ these times become less and less but sometimes we do fall. As we see with David in this story if and when these times come we have to allow conviction from the Holy Spirit to drive us immediately to a place of humility and surrender before God. To a place where we understand more and more what Jesus is saying in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing”. We must come back to him and abide. Apart from Him we can do nothing.

 

Point 2 - Repentance

Humility before God leads to genuine repentance. Repentance is not just a confession of 

Sin, but also a turning from. Repentance comes from a place of understanding and agreeing with God about our sin which leads to actual remorse and brokenness over our sin. David says in verse 3, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.” David acknowledged the understanding of his sin and we see that he was broken over his sin. This wasn’t something that he just said and moved on to never think again. It bothered him to the point that he acknowledges that it is always before him. This isn’t something that he can just forget or get over. The weight of his sin is constantly before him leading to the broken and contrite heart and spirit he talks about in verse 17. When we are broken over our sin and it is constantly before us we can come before God with true repentance. Showing our true need for his forgiveness and for his help in the Spirit to turn from it.

Point 3 - Dependence

Humility, and repentance before God lead us more and more to complete dependence on Him. Growing in our relationship with Jesus isn’t about getting better and better at life. Growing is about living more and more in defiance of self and dependence on God.  Growth in our relationship with God is not about becoming better, it's about becoming more dependent on our heavenly father. As we grow we understand more and more our need for the Gospel which leads to our growth in the Gospel.

 

 

Question Bank

  1. How has your week been spiritually? / What is God teaching you?
     

  2. What has God shown you through this story?
     

  3. How crucial is repentance in the life of a believer? Why?
     

  4. Is there a difference in confession and repentance? 
     

  5. Put yourself in David’s place in this psalm. Do you have the same posture of confession and repentance modeled by David?