So last year, I set out to follow David throughout scripture in an effort to see what made him a man after God’s Own Heart. I found one of those things that separate David from all others in Psalm 51. I will dive deeply to comprehend the depth of insight in these 19 verses.
But Let’s start at the beginning; verse 1 finds David just after the prophet Nathan confronts him about his adultery with Bathsheba and the murderous cover-up.
Psalm 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.
David’s immediate reaction/response is to pray. Asking God for forgiveness. WHY.
- David knew he was wrong, and he acknowledged it. You only ask for forgiveness when you know that you’re wrong. Your actions were at fault for the problem. Because he acknowledged his wrong (after being called out), he asked God for mercy (Have mercy upon me, O God).
- David knew God loved him. David didn’t see God as some Angry Tyrant but as a kind and merciful God, a loving father (According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies). It mattered just how David viewed God, loving and tender. It made coming to him easier, yet it made the deception and sin even more damaging for David. Contrary to popular belief, David did not enjoy sinning against God because of His love and mercy.
- David was sincere in his request. David’s posture was humility, he knew that he could not deal with his sin, but God could. So he was willing to go to the one who could do something about it and asked for help. We can not deal with our sins, but Jesus already dealt with them on the cross. So it should be easy for us to go to Him as David pleaded to God, Blot out my transgressions. We can go to Jesus and acknowledge that He has already blotted out our transgressions and thank Him for it.