Read Psalm 51:1-4. 1Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! 3For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4Against 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.
Nowhere in the Old Testament do we see a more striking transition of a person’s heart than what occurred in King David from 2 Samuel to Psalm 51. 2 Samuel tells the story of David’s rape of Bathsheba, the murder of her husband and his friend, Uriah, and the deceit that kept it all covered up until the prophet, Nathan, exposed the King to himself. This psalm is the result of that exposure.
David knows the only claim he has left is the undeserved mercy and steadfast love of God – God’s covenant love. The covenant is his only hope, and the covenant promises allow David to pray the most audacious of prayers – blot out my transgression, wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! It is audacious in its scope (full acquittal), and in its magnitude (acquittal for cosmic treason – Against you, you only, have I sinned).
From covering up to full exposure, making his confession and pardon a model for the nation and the church, this is the power of God’s covenant love and mercy in our lives. How much more so in Christ can we trust the judgments of our blameless God, fully assured of his cleansing by the blood of Jesus?
To live is Christ is to experience this same transformation as David. From cover-up to uncovered. Excuses to exposure. Hiding sin to hidden in Christ.
Prayer. Jesus, every sin I commit is cosmic treason against you, and yet you are always forgiving and gracious to me. I don’t deserve this love. But I am so grateful for it. Amen.
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