Summary: In today’s sermon we will see that in a very real sense, Lent is about understanding the 51st Psalm of David and seeing ourselves in the place of the Psalmist.
Dcn. Chris Nerreau
•(2 Sam. 11) Many of you are familiar with David’s escapades with a peasant girl named Bathsheba. In this particular story we see a King who abuses his power in such a way as to commit two heinous sins, namely rape and murder. In the old testament, the sacrificial system could aid the child of God in all but two areas, and David had committed both of them and worse yet, he thought he had gotten away with it. (Murder was considered death to the body and Rape, death to the soul.)
• (2 Sam. 11:2-12:15) My guess is that many of you are also familiar with the story of the confrontation between David and the prophet Nathan. Where Nathan tricked the king with the story of a poor man who only had a single lamb, which he loved deeply. Yet a rich man with many flocks came and took from the poor man the only lamb he had. David becomes indignant at this story and the discourse ends with Nathan pointing at David and saying – v. 7 “YOU ARE THE MAN!”
• What we are about to read today is the psalm of David writes after this confrontation with Nathan, just after he realized the gravity of his sin and the weight of his guilt. (READ PSALM 51)
• As you know, Lent began this past Wednesday for the Orthodox Church. Lent is a time of remorse, penance and inward reflection. It is a time of preparation for our celebration of the death and more importantly, the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
• The 51st psalm is a wonderful example of the penitent heart of the Church during lent.
• In a very real sense, Lent is about understanding the 51st Psalm of David, it is about seeing ourselves in place of the Psalmist.
• As such, I want to take a closer look at this Psalm, to help you better understand the true nature of Lent.
o Today’s Psalm is broken out into three parts
1. Part One – The Confession of David (51:1-6)
2. Part Two –The Commitment of David (51:11-15)
3. Part Three – The Cleansing of David (51:7-10)
Let’s begin by looking at …
THE CONFESSION OF DAVID – (51: 1-6)
I. David Acknowledges His Sin– (v.3-5)
o (v. 3) “For I acknowledge my transgressions.” And (v.5) “I was brought forth in iniquity”
David’s confession is earnest in that he does not try to excuse his sins as insignificant. He calls it “evil” v.4.
David does not try to pass the blame onto someone other than himself – v. 2 “my sin”, “my iniquity” and v.4 “I sinned”.
• (see Gen. 3:12 Adam blames the woman and God for his sin and God condemns his confession, but the opposite is true with David.)
o (v. 4) “Against you, you only have I sinned”
• Lastly, David make an astounding comment, he does not even recognize his sin against Uriah but against God alone.
• David realizes the gravity of his sin is larger than what he did to Uriah and Bathsheba, but he finds himself hopelessly outside of the grace of an Almighty GOD!
• At the root of David’s sin was God and God’s people.
II. David Appeals to God’s Grace – (v.1-2)
o For Mercy – v.1 “Have Mercy Upon Me O God according to Your loving kindness.”
David begins His confession with a plea for Mercy – “to have compassion, gk. Elos”
David seeks the compassion he did not give.
He reminds God of His love
See Others Who Cried Out For Mercy:
o Two blind men in Mt. 20
o Blind Man in Mk. 10
o The Rich man in Hades Lk. 16:24
o For A New Start – v.1 “Blot Out My Transgressions”
The word blot – (literally cover up)
David wants God to put away his sins by covering them up
A TRUE and penitent heart sees nothing but its sin and misery of conscience.
When you right something you do not want others to read you may try to blot it out, in this way what was written is gone forever.
David wants God to forget what is unforgettable and to blot it out so that he can be free from the guilt.
o For Reprieve – v. 2 “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity”
David pleas for reprieve from the guilt of his sin because his v.3 “SIN IS ALWAYS BEFORE [HIM].
David asks God to wash the dirty sin off of him so that he does not have to live with it, that he may be made clean.