Summary: Be sure your sins will find you out. Whether it was a duck or David sin always has its consequences.


Psalm 51

A little boy visiting his grandparents was given his first slingshot made by his grandfather. He practiced trying to hit a tin can, but he could never hit it.

As he walked across the yard he saw Grandma’s pet duck. On an impulse he took aim and let fly. The stone hit, and the duck fell dead.

The boy panicked and hid the dead duck under an out-building, only to look up and see his sister watching. Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch that day, Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.” But Sally said, “Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today. Didn’t you Johnny?” And she whispered to him, “The duck!” So Johnny did the dishes.

Later, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing. Grandma said, “I’m sorry, but I need Sally to help me make supper.” Sally smiled and said, “Johnny wants to do it.” Again she whispered, “The duck.” Johnny stayed while Sally went fishing.

After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally’s, finally he couldn’t stand it. He confessed to Grandma that he’d killed the duck.

“I know, Johnny,” she said, giving him a hug. “I was standing at the window and saw the whole thing. Because I love you, I forgave you. But I wondered how long you would let Sally make a slave of you.”

Tucked away in a small segment of Scripture we find this certain phrase, “…you may be sure that your sin will find you out. ” Why is it that we think we can hid sin?

The background of our text today is David’s sin as recorded in 2 Samuel 11-12. David could not get away with his multiple sins any more than Johnny could hide the duck. In real life, one sin committed that is not repented of usually leads to another sin and makes one a slave to sinning. That was the case with David. His slavery to sin ultimately crushed him when Nathan, the prophet told him the story of the little ewe lamb. Until that point, David did not have the moral stamina nor the courage to confess his sin.

At first, while he still was in denial of his sins, David flew into a rage and said that anyone who committed such sin should be executed. However, Nathan looked David square in the eye and said, “You are the man!”

David then was made aware of the fact that the Lord knew what he had done.

Though the Lord forgave David, He punished him. So extensive was the consequence of his sins, all his descendants were affected. How terrible, yet true, “The sword shall never depart from your house .”

Psalm 51 is the record of David's prayer, uttered after Nathan the prophet faced him concerning his adultery with Bathsheba. This is one of the most penitential psalms ever written. In it we see David praying for forgiveness. How did David deal with this terrible fall from grace? The heading to Psalm 51 reads,

"For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba."

This psalm provides some tremendous insights into David's spiritual recovery from a place of arrogance and callousness towards God's voice. It is the second most read chapter in the Psalter. Verses 1 and 2 read;

"Have mercy on me, O God,

according to your unfailing love;

according to your great compassion

blot out my transgressions.

Wash away all my iniquity

and cleanse me from my sin."

David begins by calling out for mercy. Why?

Because he recognizes that God's revealed character is one of love and compassion. From the time of Moses, God has revealed himself as "the compassionate and gracious God," who forgives sin . David calls upon God based on his known merciful character and because he had walked in complete trust of God’s unfailing love. Every person that has ever felt the guilt of sin and the need for God's forgiveness can identify with this psalm .

His first words were "Have mercy" (h?anan) which means “be gracious, have pity” … a heartfelt response by someone who has something to give to one who has a need.

And then David acknowledges God’s "unfailing love" or "lovingkindness" or "steadfast love" translated as the common Hebrew noun h?esed, which includes the ideas love, faithfulness, good-heartedness and kindness . What other plea can a sinner make before a righteous God?

The third line of his contrition recognizes God’s "Compassion" which is the Hebrew noun rah?amîm, meaning "tender mercy, compassion, deep love ."

David knows he doesn't deserve forgiveness, so he calls on God's character of mercy to remove his sins. He asks for renewal, purity, and pardon. He begs God, “…blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” After supposedly hiding his sin for months, a convicted and contrite David now asks God to blot out the record of his sin and that his polluted heart and soul be cleansed.

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