Verse 1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
One of the most well-known psalms is David’s prayer of repentance for his sins associated with Bathsheba and we are going to take a short break from his storyline and look at his song so we have a better idea of the depth of his understanding about what he had done against God. We will see that he didn’t merely say he was sorry, he took the time to evaluate what his sin meant to his relationship with the Father.
David began his repentant song begging God for mercy. He understood the sins he had committed were nothing short of requiring God’s wrath. In fact the two main sins he had committed in this act with Bathsheba were listed as sins which God’s people were commanded to stone the offenders. God had placed serious consequences for the sins of adultery and murder because of what they said about the person who was committing them.
The king’s pleading for mercy wasn’t attached to a feeling of entitlement or thinking he should be excused for the various reasons he thought he was above punishment. No, his begging God for mercy was because of his understanding of God’s unfailing love. He knew he had done nothing which would merit his being excused from the required punishment. But God is a loving God and David knew His mercy alone could rescue him from the prescribed punishment.
The sins couldn’t be undone. There was no way of reversing what he had done with the wife of Uriah and there was no way to bring the warrior back to life. The king couldn’t erase what the various people used in his cover-up had come to know about him nor could he erase their memories. He knew the consequences of what had happened would be with him the rest of his life. But he also knew God had shown mercy to His people in the past and he needed that mercy and forgiveness more than ever.
David asked God to go into His book of records and cover the transgressions. David understood only God could remove his sin and make him holy. Moreover, David wanted to be cleansed from his sins and once again be seen as the man after God’s own heart. This is the heart of true repentance.
Making It Personal
When have you needed God’s mercy? Have you seen the true nature of your sin and understood what it means to God that you chose to sin? What sin do you need to repent of today?
Making It Personal Kids
What do you think mercy means? How bad is sin in Jesus’ eyes? Do you hate sin enough to not want to do it?
Father, thank You for Your unfailing love and amazing mercy. Give us understanding about what sin does to our relationship with You and though You give us grace and mercy doesn’t mean we are given a pass to sin freely. In Jesus’ name, amen.