Together in Christ: 'Broken!' — Psalm 51:1-4

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just.
— Psalm 51:1-4 NLT

Key Thought

David sinned in reprehensible ways, abusing his power to seize Bathsheba as his sex partner because of his lust and then murdering her husband, Uriah, to take her as his wife. [1] When Nathan creatively confronted David with his sin, the King was humbled, sorrowful, and broken. [2] Psalm 51 is David's psalm of confession, sorrow, and repentance. He recognized his sin. He admitted that his sin was against God and God alone at its most basic level. This response did not try to downplay his guilt for his actions against Bathsheba and Uriah. He acknowledged that his sin was rebellion against God. God had blessed David, chosen him as King, protected him in battle, and given him great wealth and popularity. Then, David violated God's love, blessings, and trust in him.

To David's credit, he admitted his sin and defined it for what it was: rebellion against God's love, grace, and will — a great evil in the sight of God. David threw himself on the mercy of God, yet accepted that whatever God decided about punishment and consequences were right and just. David's words and actions demonstrated genuine godly sorrow that is necessary for genuine repentance — a change of behavior to align with the will of God. [3]

Underneath all of David's godly sorrow and repentance was his reliance on God's "mercy" and "unfailing love." Openness with God about the severity, reality, and truth of our sins opens the door for God's mercy and love to change, renew, and set us on the right path for our lives. So, dear brother or sister in Christ, let's be honest with God about our sins. Let's not downplay them or excuse them as not as bad as someone else's sin — or David's sin. Let's be real about our sins so God can remake us and set us on His good path for our lives! Our relationship with God is one we must get right, appreciate, and enjoy. We don't want our sinful failures to interfere with the mercy and love He longs to pour into our lives.

Being broken by our sins, confessing them, and receiving God's forgiveness can make us whole again and should give us the motivation for forgiving others in our lives and being loving and supportive in our interactions with them. [4]

[1] 2 Samuel 11:1-27.
[2] 2 Samuel 12:1-14.
[3] 2 Corinthians 7:8-11; Luke 3:3-7.
[4] Matthew 6:14-15; Ephesians 4:31-32; Galatians 6:2.

Today's Prayer

Forgive me, O God, for my rebellions and evil actions. You have done so much for me in Jesus, and I am tired of pretending my sins don't matter. My rebellions are a cause for shame. I am sorry and deeply regret my sins, but I am thankful that I can come to You honestly and know that You will forgive my sin, purify me, and make me holy in Your sight. I ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to help me put to death the sinful urges and behavior in my life and bring forth Your good fruit so I can bless others with Your grace. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Romans 8:9-14
  • Galatians 5:13-23

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Illustration

Illustration of Psalm 51:1-4 NLT — Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.