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Summary: The background for this psalm is II Samuel 11-12. We read where David lusted after his neighbor’s wife, committed adultery, made the hasband drunk, had him killed, and then covered the whole affair for at least a year. In the opinion of many, this is on

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CONFESSION FOR CLEANSING--PSALM 51

Introduction: The background for this psalm is II Samuel 11-12. We read where David lusted after his neighbor’s wife, committed adultery, made the hasband drunk, had him killed, and then covered the whole affair for at least a year. In the opinion of many, this is one of the greatest Psalms ever written. It is a Psalm of repentance and restoration, a part of everyone’s lives. We all fall in sin and come short of God’s glory and therefore need to repent and be restored. It was written over 3,000 years ago and yet it is so applicable for us today. This is a Psalm that we can all relate to, because at one time or another we have all been in the same position. We may have never committed adultery, but we have all known the feelings of guilt that are expressed here.

David was not a youth when he fell into these sins; he was a mature man, ruling over a great kingdom. As I ponder that thought the verse comes to mind of I Corinthians 10:12, “Let him who thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.” There is none excempt from temptation. There is none excempt from failure. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man....” I Corinthians 10:13.

Psalm 51 was David’s prayer of confession. Had he not confess he would have never been cleansed. I John 1:5-2:2 gives us God’s provision for cleansing. This Psalm comes from a broken heart. There is an awful sense of the exceeding blackness of sin. David is not a bit arrogant about his sin. He comes to God with an humble spirit. He cries out to God for mercy, pardon, cleansing, and restoration.

1. This Psalm is Simple

a. David doesn’t “beat around the bush.”

b. He gets right to the Point and states the facts clearly.

2. This Psalm is Singular

a. It’s a personal plea.

b. There are no excuses made and no one else involved

c. It concerns one man’s sin.

3. This Psalm is Sincere

a. David is dead earnest.

b. He is not trying to impress anyone. He means business.

c. These words do not originate in the head, but come from the heart.

4. This Psalm is a Shining Example

a. It sets forth what we should do in a similiar situation.

b. We need to be honest with God. He already know us anyway.

This is a very personal prayer; note how often David uses “me” and “my sin.” His eyes are not on someone else; his eyes are on himself and on his Lord.

I. THE COST OF COMMITTING SIN

A. Falling into lust and adultery seemed to be momentary acts, but what a tremendous price David paid.

1. As we see in Psalm 32:3-4, David paid for his sins Physically and be came ill.

2. But the Spiritual cost was also great.

a. He Lost the Purity of his heart. vs. 1-2

b. He states his need to be cleansed and washed in vs. 7

3. Note the words used for sin here:

a. Transgressions: This means acts of rebellion, defying God by crossing over the line God has drawn.

b. Iniquity: This means inward crookedness, perversity.

c. Sin: This means missing the mark, failing to meet God’s standard.

B. David’s heart was affected

1. Verse 17 suggests that David’s heart not only became defiled, but it also became hard.


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