Psalm 51: 1-12
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from all my sin.
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justify when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time when my mother conceived me. Surely you desire truth in the inner parts, you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
David, feeling broken, separated from God, is asking for mercy and forgiveness for his transgressions. David first acknowledges God: God is unfailing in his love and compassion; God is right when he speaks and judges; God desires truth and teaches wisdom; God can make clean, wash to be whiter than snow and blot out all sins. David confesses: He was conceived in sin; he has sinned against God by doing evil. David then asks God; to hide and blot out his sins; to create a pure heart within him; not to remove God’s presence or his Holy Spirit from him; to restore the joy of God’s salvation; grant him a willing spirit; and for God to sustain him.
David was a man after God’s own heart and he set the right example for all to acknowledge who God is, confess that we were born into a sinful world and we have all sinned against God, and must be made clean from all sin made possible by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, God’s son.
Father, God of love and compassion, thank you for our forgiveness of our sins. We ask for a pure heart, fill us with your joy, a willing spirit to follow you and for your word to sustain us in Jesus’ name, amen.