Summary: Great sin is no barrier to God's forgiveness.
Psa.25:11 "For Your name's sake, O LORD, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great."
(1) A few years ago, when we lived in North Queensland, there was a disaster that occurred at Charleville. We saw amazing scenes on News Reports of swollen rivers & Submerged houses. People stranded. Whole communities cut off from food & supplies. Thousands of sheep & cattle drowned. Herds of goats washed up against fences as they perished. Families battling to save their homes - all helpless. All defenceless & unprotected against the onward surge & repeated waves of water. We saw places that earlier were barren and withered by drought; now they were awash with brown muddy water for as far as the eye could see.
You might wonder, what has this got to do with Psalm 25:11? We’ll come back to that question before we finish this sermon. But right now, let us just look at the text before us.
(2) Here David is making a momentous request to God. “Pardon my sin.”
What is he asking? Put it away. Be gracious & kind to me. Be merciful. Don’t hold my sin against me. Blot it out - don’t remember it anymore. That is a staggering request. If God granted such a request as that to anyone, it would be a blessing beyond measure. Just think of it. Such a person would never again feel the threat of judgment or condemnation. Such a person could face any calamity, and know, that whatever the outcome, everything would be fine. A person like this could face death with confidence; they could be like one of those men waiting to be beheaded, and know there is nothing beyond death to fear.
(3) Let us apply this to ourselves. Can you imagine making such request to God?
Do you really believe He would listen to you, and grant you what you want? David is a real life example to us. He was guilty of sin; he often spoke of his sins as being more than the hairs of his head; they were a terrible burden upon him. But here he is; he obviously believed God would grant his request, when he said, “Pardon my sin”. In fact, if you read his words closely, you will see he goes further than just ask for pardon - he presents two reasons why he believes he should have it.
Listen to the verse again, and try to pick out the two reasons why he hopes to receive pardon.
1. For Your Names sake.
2. Because my iniquity is great.
I. Take the second one first. “Pardon my sin because it is great.”
(1) In the original Hebrew the word means multiplied.
It is the same expression that Esau used to Jacob, when Jacob offered him the gifts of goats & sheep – he said, “My brother, I have more than enough”. ‘RAV Li’. My sufficiency is multiplied. That is what David is saying here – “my sin is beyond what is acceptable” – ‘I have sinned against my blessings & privileges; I have sinned against knowledge; I have no excuse; I have done the very things I knew were wrong; I have not only sinned, but I took delight in sinning; I am no better than the dog that goes back to its vomit; my sins are multiplied in their offense; it is great. “Pardon my sin because it is great.”
(2) Let us not lose sight of this. This is the very reason why he hopes & expects God to pardon his sin.
He does not say “pardon my sin because it is a little thing.” He doesn’t say, “Pardon my sin, because everybody sins; we are all sinners, and nobody is perfect.” Now that’s very common isn’t it? Many a person expects forgiveness for their sins, because they say, ‘After all, I am only human.’ They attempt to lessen the seriousness of their sin by lumping it in with everyone else generally. That is not what David does. “Pardon my sin, because it is unbelievably greater, and more ugly & more vile than I ever thought possible. I can’t imagine how anyone could ever have sin greater than mine.
(3) Many a person will come before God seeking forgiveness thinking they are, after all, a pretty good person.
They are aware they have done wrong, but they take heart that their sin didn’t seem to hurt anyone. They feel very confident, that if God is fair & reasonable, He will forgive them, because after all, they haven’t sinned like a lot of people. They are not like Pol Pot, or Adolph Hitler or Stalin. They haven’t robbed a bank, or committed murder. It is only fair that God should forgive them, because their life by comparison is pretty good. Friends, that is the very reason why their sin will not be pardoned. David comes before God with a crushing weight – “Pardon my sin, because it is great.”