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1 (To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.) Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

Commentary for Psalms 51

The psalmist prays for mercy, humbly confessing and lamenting his sins. (1-6) He pleads for pardon, that he may promote the glory of God and the conversion of sinners. (7-15) God is pleased with a contrite heart, A prayer for the prosperity of Zion. (16-19)

1-6 David, being convinced of his sin, poured out his soul to God in prayer for mercy and grace. Whither should backsliding children return, but to the Lord their God, who alone can heal them? he drew up, by Divine teaching, an account of the workings of his heart toward God. Those that truly repent of their sins, will not be ashamed to own their repentance. Also, he instructs others what to do, and what to say. David had not only done much, but suffered much in the cause of God; yet he flees to God's infinite mercy, and depends upon that alone for pardon and peace. He begs the pardon of sin. The blood of Christ, sprinkled upon the conscience, blots out the transgression, and, having reconciled us to God, reconciles us to ourselves. The believer longs to have the whole debt of his sins blotted out, and every stain cleansed; he would be thoroughly washed from all his sins; but the hypocrite always has some secret reserve, and would have some favorite lust spared. David had such a deep sense of his sin, that he was continually thinking of it, with sorrow and shame. His sin was committed against God, whose truth we deny by wilful sin; with him we deal deceitfully. And the truly penitent will ever trace back the streams of actual sin to the fountain of original depravity. He confesses his original corruption. This is that foolishness which is bound in the heart of a child, that proneness to evil, and that backwardness to good, which is the burden of the regenerate, and the ruin of the unregenerate. He is encouraged, in his repentance, to hope that God would graciously accept him. Thou desirest truth in the inward part; to this God looks, in a returning sinner. Where there is truth, God will give wisdom. Those who sincerely endeavour to do their duty shall be taught their duty; but they will expect good only from Divine grace overcoming their corrupt nature.

7-15 Purge me with hyssop, with the blood of Christ applied to my soul by a lively faith, as the water of purification was sprinkled with a bunch of hyssop. The blood of Christ is called the blood of sprinkling, #Heb 12:24|. If this blood of Christ, which cleanses from all sin, cleanse us from our sin, then we shall be clean indeed, #Heb 10:2|. He asks not to be comforted, till he is first cleansed; if sin, the bitter root of sorrow, be taken away, he can pray in faith, Let me have a well-grounded peace, of thy creating, so that the bones broken by convictions may rejoice, may be comforted. Hide thy face from my sins; blot out all mine iniquities out of thy book; blot them out, as a cloud is blotted out and dispelled by the beams of the sun. And the believer desires renewal to holiness as much as the joy of salvation. David now saw, more than ever, what an unclean heart he had, and sadly laments it; but he sees it is not in his own power to amend it, and therefore begs God would create in him a clean heart. When the sinner feels this change is necessary, and reads the promise of God to that purpose, he begins to ask it. He knew he had by his sin grieved the Holy Spirit, and provoked him to withdraw. This he dreads more than anything. He prays that Divine comforts may be restored to him. When we give ourselves cause to doubt our interest in salvation, how can we expect the joy of it? This had made him weak; he prays, I am ready to fall, either into sin or into despair, therefore uphold me with thy Spirit. Thy Spirit is a free Spirit, a free Agent himself, working freely. And the more cheerful we are in our duty, the more constant we shall be to it. What is this but the liberty wherewith Christ makes his people free, which is contrasted with the yoke of bondage? #Ga 5:1|. It is the Spirit of adoption spoken to the heart. Those to whom God is the God of salvation, he will deliver from guilt; for the salvation he is the God of, is salvation from sin. We may therefore plead with him, Lord, thou art the God of my salvation, therefore deliver me from the dominion of sin. And when the lips are opened, what should they speak but the praises of God for his forgiving mercy?

16-19 Those who are thoroughly convinced of their misery and danger by sin, would spare no cost to obtain the remission of it. But as they cannot make satisfaction for sin, so God cannot take any satisfaction in them, otherwise than as expressing love and duty to him. The good work wrought in every true penitent, is a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, and sorrow for sin. It is a heart that is tender, and pliable to God's word. Oh that there were such a heart in every one of us! God is graciously pleased to accept this; it is instead of all burnt-offering and sacrifice. The broken heart is acceptable to God only through Jesus Christ; there is no true repentance without faith in him. Men despise that which is broken, but God will not. He will not overlook it, he will not refuse or reject it; though it makes God no satisfaction for the wrong done to him by sin. Those who have been in spiritual troubles, know how to pity and pray for others afflicted in like manner. David was afraid lest his sin should bring judgements upon the city and kingdom. No personal fears or troubles of conscience can make the soul, which has received grace, careless about the interests of the church of God. And let this be the continued joy of all the redeemed, that they have redemption through the blood of Christ, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Psalms 51

  • Leslie Brown
    When I read this psalms We all was in sin and shape in iniquity. We must each and every ask Jehovah God to clean our heart and repent of our sins. God love is unconditional and all He asks for us is to understand His word and follow Him. This must be a daily process. We are going to fall but we must get back. Repent of our sins and thank Jehovah for is love. He is a might God. Let praise Him.
  • Lilian
    Create a clean heart on me Jesus and renew thy spirit within me. Thank you for your blood Lord that washes our sins and unrighteousness help me Jesus to be born again in spirit every moment of my life. Hallelujah hosanna in the highest amen
  • Love for Truth
    Amen I need this every day a clean heart and. a renewing of the Spirit Thank U Jesus(Father Son
  • Steve morrow
    REVELATION 19:10 AND I FELL AT HIS FEET TO WORSHIP HIM AND HE SAID TO ME SEE THOU DO IT NOT I AM THY FELLOWSERVANT AND OF THE BRETHREN THAT HAVE THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS WORSHIP GOD FOR THE --- TESTIMONY OF JESUS --- IS THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY---JOHN 3:3 --- JESUS ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO HIM VERILY VERILY I SAY UNTO THEE EXCEPT A MAN BE BORN AGAIN HE --- CANNOT --- SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD 1 PETER 1:23 BEING BORN AGAIN NOT OF CORRUPTIBLE SEED BUT OF INCORRUPTIBLE --- BY THE WORD OF GOD --- WHICH LIVETH AND ABIDETH FOREVER JOHN 12:49 FOR I HAVE NOT SPOKEN OF MYSELF BUT THE FATHER WHICH SENT ME HE GAVE ME A COMMANDMENT WHAT I SHOULD SAY AND WHAT I SHOULD SPEAK ACTS 1:2 UNTIL THE DAY IN WHICH HE WAS TAKEN UP AFTER THAT THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT HAD GIVEN COMMANDMENTS UNTO THE APOSTLES WHOM HE HAD CHOSEN MATTHEW 10:20 FOR IT IS NOT YOU THAT SPEAK BUT THE SPIRIT OF YOUR FATHER WHICH SPEAKETH IN YOU PROVERBS 18:21 DEATH AND LIFE ARE IN THE POWER OF THE TONGUE AND THEY THAT LOVE IT SHALL EAT THE FRUIT THEREOF
  • Steve morrow
    BE OF GOOD COURAGE --- EZEKIEL 36:26 A NEW HEART ALSO WILL I GIVE YOU AND A NEW SPIRIT WILL I PUT WITHIN YOU AND I WILL TAKE AWAY THE STONY HEART OUT OF YOUR FLESH AND I WILL GIVE YOU A HEART OF FLESH 36:27 AND I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT WITHIN YOU AND CAUSE YOU TO WALK IN MY STAUTES AND YOU SHALL KEEP MY JUDGEMENTS JOHN 6:63 IT IS THE SPIRIT THAT QUICKENETH --- THE FLESH --- PROFITETH NOTHING THE WORDS THAT I SPEAK UNTO YOU THEY ARE SPIRIT AND THEY ARE LIFE PROVERBS 21:30 THERE IS NO WISDOM NOR UNDERSTANDING NOR COUNSEL AGAINST THE LORD ROMANS 8:11 BUT IF THE SPIRIT OF HIM THAT RAISED UP JESUS FROM THE DEAD DWELL IN YOU HE THAT RAISED UP CHRIST FROM THE DEAD SHALL ALSO QUICKEN YOUR MORTAL BODIES BY HIS SPIRIT THAT DWELLETH IN YOU JOHN 5:21 FOR AS THE FATHER RAISETH UP THE DEAD AND QUICKENETH THEM EVEN SO THE SON QUICKENETH WHOM HE WILL PSALM 119:50 THIS IS --- MY COMFORT ---IN MY AFFLICTION FOR THY WORD HATH QUICKENED ME
  • Librarygal143
    I love and believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!
  • Tiffany Shaw
    I feel the whole purpose of this psalms is to understand that our spirit has to be broken and truthfully sorry. The Most High God loves a broken spirit this because your allowing him then to come in and do the work. The transformation starts with understanding what you have done wrong, begin to allow The Most High into our lives, daily fast, pray, Watch, read, love, and live.
  • Lilian
    Cast me not away into thy presence and take not your holy spirit in my spirit. Thank you Jesus for the blood your words are my life Lord without you as the vine we cannot bear fruits. Let your Holy Spirit guide me and help me to be born again in Spirit every moment of my life i will worship you forever amen

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Bible Trivia

David created a psalm of repentance after he had committed adultery with whom?
  • Jezebel
  • Abishag
  • Bathsheba
  • Abigail
  • Maacah