Confession and forgiveness



Psalm 51: 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 alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment. 5 Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.

According to my notes, this psalm was written by King David after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed to cover it up. Egregious sins indeed. In fact, David names what might be considered two different variety of “sin”.

First, there are the things that we do that are against the will and ways of God (sins of “commission”) or that we fail to do that we should (sins of “omission”). These sins are related to our actions and thought life. When we think of sins, this is what we tend to think about. But David doesn’t stop there.

5 Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.

Here David points out what we might call the human “condition of sin”. In other words, there is a part of our human condition that makes us predisposed to rebel against God. We saw it in the very first humans (Adam and Eve), and with every other person ever born – with the exception of Jesus Christ who was without sin.

King David messed up – big time. What I appreciate about this psalm is David’s vigorous confession. He’s owning up to his many faults and trusting that God’s mercy will be enough to blot them out.

2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 

As I write this morning the Lord is bringing to my mind the many sins of which I am guilty. And so, this morning, I will confess to the Lord. I will place my sin before him and ask him to remove the stain of sin from me, by his great mercy and love. I will end my post today 1 John 1:8-9

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Heavenly Father, let it be so. As we confess our sin to you now, by your great mercy and abundant love for us, cleanse us and bring us back to you. For we ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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