Psalm 51

Psalm 51

Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking Him to meet with you and speak to you.


Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 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. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem; then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

– Psalm 51


David wrote Psalm 51 after he committed adultery with Bathsheba, lied to and murdered her husband, Uriah the Hittite, then married her to cover up the resulting pregnancy. He was confronted by Nathan the prophet and convicted of his sin. Here he recounts his guilt before the Lord.

David asks and pleads for God to remove his transgressions and to thoroughly wash him clean from sin. David rightly recognizes that his sin is against God only, and the evil that he has done has distanced him from God. He pleads that God would forgive him, save him, restore joy to him, and lead him to follow God alone. He vows that he will declare the goodness of God to other sinners like him so they will return to God and experience His great mercy.

Like David, we should approach God with a broken and contrite heart when we recognize our sins and seek forgiveness from God. Our sin is against God, and sin requires the penalty of death. Thankfully, Jesus has already paid this penalty because of his abundant love for us. His death on the cross paid the penalty for our sins and allows us, through faith in Him, to receive forgiveness, salvation, joy and a relationship with God.


Have you been convicted of your sins and confessed to God? Have you accepted the sacrifice of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sin and received God’s abundant mercy and favor? Who can you tell today about God’s loving character?

Conclude in prayer and silence reflecting on what you’ve learned.