David’s Prayer

Scripture Passage: 
Psalm 51:1-19
Attached audio files: 

INTRODUCTION: The title of this psalm identifies it as “A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.” Therefore, we know the human author of this psalm and the occasion for which he wrote it. The sin of   2 Samuel 11 led to the accusation and confession of 2 Samuel 12. David acknowledged in 2 Samuel 12:13, “I have sinned against the LORD.” This psalm is the larger expression of that confession.

Even in the confession of such heinous sins, we can see why God looked to David as “a man after his own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). David’s confession has no pride or pretense. He totally seeks to restore the joy that he had earlier known with the Lord. Oh, that we might avoid the greatness of David’s sins while learning the fullness of his repentance and confession!

  1. DAVID’S CONFESSION (Psalm 51:1-6)
    1. His Need (Psalm 51:1-3)
      1. For mercy - According to God’s lovingkindness (Psalm 51:1)
      2. For cleansing – According to God’s tender mercies (Psalm 51:1-2)
        1. Blot out my transgressions (Psalm 51:1).
        2. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity (Psalm 51:2).
        3. Cleanse me from my sin (Psalm 51:2).
      3. For confession (Psalm 51:3)
        1. I acknowledge my transgressions.
        2. My sin is ever before me.
      4. Note: God’s lovingkindness brings about His mercy, and according to His mercies, He blots out man’s transgressions. The reception of this forgiveness is dependent upon man’s confession.
    2. His Guilt (Psalm 51:4-6)
      1. The One offended by David’s sin (Psalm 51:4)
        1. His sin
          1. Against God
          2. By doing evil in God’s sight
        2. God’s justness
          1. In speaking against David’s sin
          2. In judging David’s sin
      2. David’s history (Psalm 51:5)
        1. I was shapen in iniquity.
        2. In sin did my mother conceive me.
      3. God’s desire (Psalm 51:6)
        1. Truth in the inward parts
        2. Wisdom in the hidden part
  2. DAVID’S CLEANSING (Psalm 51:7-12)
    1. From Sin’s Defilement (Psalm 51:7)
      1. Purge me and I shall be clean.
      2. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
    2. From Sin’s Depression (Psalm 51:8)
      1. Make me to hear joy and gladness.
      2. That the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice
    3. From Sin’s Disgrace (Psalm 51:9)
      1. Hide thy face from my sins.
      2. Blot out all mine iniquities.
    4. From Sin’s Damage (Psalm 51:10)
      1. Create in me a clean heart.
      2. Renew a right spirit within me.
    5. From Sin’s Division (Psalm 51:11)
      1. Cast me not away from thy presence.
      2. Take not thy holy spirit from me.
    6. From Sin’s Downcast (Psalm 51:12)
      1. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation.
      2. Uphold me with thy free spirit.
    7. Note: Consider the truth presented by David’s wording. His forgiveness was very much dependent upon the working of God.
      1. Purge me and wash me (Psalm 51:7)
      2. Make me to hear (Psalm 51:8)
      3. Hide thy face and blot out (Psalm 51:9)
      4. Create and renew (Psalm 51:10)
      5. Cast me not and take not (Psalm 51:11)
      6. Restore unto me and uphold me (Psalm 51:12)
  3. DAVID’S CONFIRMATION (Psalm 51:13-15)
    1. To Speak of God’s Ways (Psalm 51:13)
      1. I will teach transgressors thy ways.
      2. Sinners shall be converted unto thee.
    2. To Sing of God’s Righteousness (Psalm 51:14)
      1. The manner of singing – “aloud”
      2. The message of the song – “of thy righteousness”
    3. To Show Forth God’s Praise (Psalm 51:15)
      1. With God’s help – “open thou”
      2. To God’s praise – “my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.”
  4. DAVID’S CONSECRATION (Psalm 51:16-19)
    1. His Sacrifice (Psalm 51:16-17)
      1. Not an offered animal (Psalm 51:16)
        1. God did not desire sacrifice, nor did He delight in burnt offering.
        2. If He had, David would have gladly complied.
      2. But a broken heart (Psalm 51:17)
        1. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.
        2. A broken and contrite heart, God will not despise.
    2. His Surety (Psalm 51:18-19)
      1. That God will prosper His people (Psalm 51:18)
        1. Do good unto Zion.
        2. Build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
      2. That God will be pleased (Psalm 51:19)
        1. With the sacrifices
          1. Of righteousness
          2. The burnt offering and whole burnt offering
        2. With the altar

CONCLUSION: Is there sin in your heart? Would you not come to God with the openness and brokenness of David? Would you not allow God to cleanse you of your iniquities?

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 21:3

To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.