Summary: Only true repentance leads to true God given forgiveness!


PSALM 51:1-19

APRIL 29, 2001

INTRODUCTION: John Killinger tells about the manager of a minor league baseball team who was so disgusted with his center fielder’s performance that he ordered him to the dugout and assumed the position himself. The first ball that came into center field took a bad hop and hit the manager in the mouth. The nest one was a high fly ball, which he lost in the glare of the sun – until it bounced off his forehead. The third was a hard line drive that he charged with outstretched arms; unfortunately, it flew between his hands and smacked his eye. Furious, he ran back to the dugout, grabbed the center fielder by the uniform, and shouted, “You idiot! You’ve got center field so messed up that even I can’t do a thing with it!”

Isn’t that just the way we are? I don’t want the blame for anything bad, but I always want the credit and praise for everything good! I know you are not like me!

TRANSITION THOUGHT: Our text for this day speaks to us about ownership, character, integrity, maturity, and ultimately about wisdom. This all may seem or sound a little strange, but David the Adulterer, is trying to share his repentance that we might learn how to share our repentance. For all the things I just mentioned, ownership, character, integrity, maturity and wisdom come from true repentance.

THESIS SENTENCE: Only true repentance leads to true God given forgiveness!

CONTEXT: WHERE DOES IT ALL BEGIN? THE STORY OF DAVID and Bathseba: Did you note the few words written under the title Psalm 51, even before the first verse? “For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.” Now, if you were to have your life laid bare before everyone you knew or everyone who would ever know you, what kind of information would you write about yourself? Realize, David wrote this psalm! King David is remembered for Two Major Events in His Life, This is the Second, What is the first? Don’t you think he would have written about the first and not the second? He never retells the story of his victory over Goliath! He, like Jim Baker, chose to tell of the reality and destruction of Sin.

David had seen Bathseba bathing on her housetop while her husband, Uriah was off at war, with the rest of David’s Army under the leadership of Joab. David noticed the woman was beautiful, inquired of her and found out she was a married women. He then had her brought to him, slept with her, and they together conceived a child. When he found out she was pregnant, he sent for her husband hoping to cover over the sin. It didn’t work, so he sent Uriah back to the battle with orders in his hands to place him in the heart of battle so that he would be killed. After all this took place, he brought Bathseba to the palace and married her. Nathan the prophet of Israel came to David and revealed that God knew all about the sin and foretold that the child conceived would die! This context is found in II Samuel chapters 11 and 12.

How many of the Ten Commandments do you think David broke? I count 5.

You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony about your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.

Now, that covers the first words and now comes David’s personal response to all that has happened, especially concerning Nathan confrontation of David’s sin! So What does David Teach us in this Psalm of Repentance?


A. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

1. This is the title of a famous sermon by Jonathan Edwards

2. The story is told that he read his sermons with his nose to the paper. When he read this sermon, people fell out in the isles terrified at the reality of being found a sinner and CONFRONTED BY A HOLY GOD!

B. The reality of sin should terrify us all!

1. Sin separates us from God

2. Sin brings judgment from THE HOLY GOD

C. Realizing his sin, David seeks forgiveness FIRST

1. Seeking forgiveness is the opposite of Rationalizing Sin

2. LOOK at verses 1 and 2 of our text, what are the first words out of David’s mouth? Remember, David wrote this, not someone else!

3. “Have mercy on me, O God…Blot out my transgressions.”

4. Note verse 7, “Cleanse me with hyssop… Wash me…

5. Verse 9, “Hide Your Face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.”

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