Psalms – The joy of forgiveness
Psalm 51 focuses on confession and repentance. It refers to the events of 2 Samuel 11 & 12 where David had fallen into sin. David thought he had covered it all up, but two years later Nathan came to confront him. God showed David that He knew everything he had done. God was going to punish David. Could David be forgiven? Could his relationship with God ever be restored? Could he still remain King? Could he be used by God again? Psalm 51 tells us that the answers are ‘Yes’ and it tells us how. Do you feel like David? Perhaps you think, “God would never forgive me”, “I can’t be possibly really be a Christian” or “I’ve let God down”. There is no-one to bad for God to forgive. There is a way back to God. Psalm 51 tells us that the way back begins with repentance and confession.
From Psalm 51 we see that:-
- David admits and confesses his sin (vs 1-4) – When Nathan confronts David his lying stops. He does not excuse his sin. He takes ownership of his sin and confesses and repents of it. David begs God for forgiveness. Six times in verses 1-3 David speaks of his own responsibility for his sin. He admits that sin is serious and that it separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2). Sin is still serious today. It still matters and needs to be confessed and repented of. God still forgives today, but confession has to come before forgiveness. All we need to do is admit our sin. We need to confess and repent and we will recieve forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
- David understands the character and the power of God – David dares to admit and confess his sin because he knows to character of God. He knows that God is a God of mercy. He knows that God is a God of renewal and regeneration.
- David wants cleansing as well as forgiveness (vs 5-7) – verse 7 refers to the ceremony of the cleansing of lepers in Leviticus 14. David says, “My sin is so bad I feel like a leper. I need to be cleansed by sacrificial blood. I need to be washed clean”. We nee the sacrificial blood of Jesus to cleanse our lives from sin.
- David wants to be able to enjoy God again (vs 8-12) – David still suffered the consequences of his sin, but his relationship with God was restored.
We do not need to struggle on with unconfessed sin. We do not need to hold onto the hidden secrets of our lives. We can come to God today and be forgiven. Our God is ready to forgive us today.