Summary: As we think about our need for God, what is the type of heart we need?


Text: Ps. 51


1. I’ve always been intrigued by Samuel’s remark to King Saul as recorded in I Sam. 13:14, which Paul mentions in an address in Pisidian Antioch Ax. 13:22

“But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”

2. What does it mean to be a man/person after God’s own heart?

3. What can we learn from David concerning this?

4. Set against the actions of Saul, it will readily be seen as an obedience to God’s command, which Saul had not done.

5. But I also believe there is more to it than that.

6. Let’s take a look at Ps. 51 and get more of a feel for the type of heart we need as we begin to rethink our salvation.


A. Note the story in II Sam. 12:1-23

1. Nathan tells him the story.

2. David’s anger burns against the man

3. Nathan convicts David as the man

4. Nathan recounts God’s blessings.

5. David confesses sin, v. 13

6. David & Bathsheba’s son dies

7. Note David’s response, vs.22,23

B. In our text, David cries out in pain of


1. vs. 1-4 Have mercy, my transgressions,


2. He sees himself having opposed and doing

evil against God, and in light of God’s

character, vs. 1,4.

3. His guilt was consuming him, vs. 3b.

4. He allows God’s light to shine in his

dark heart

C. We seem to have lost the truth that

confession is the first step to healing.

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, and other 12 step

programs begin on this foundation—I’ve

got a problem.

2. Until this is admitted, no help will be

sought, none that can be offered, no

changes will occur, and life will remain

to be miserable.

3. There must be an honesty with self, an

openness of one’s eyes to the Purity and

Holiness of God before anything else can

take place.

D. This admission of selfishness, of self-will

is not easy and rather than seen as a

strength, it is seen as weakness today.

1. Normally, wrong is transferred to someone

or something else, it is not owned.

2. Confession, admission of wrong is a sign

that pride and self-will and ego are being

defeated by God’s love and compassion.

E. Note other passages:

1. Prov. 28:13 “he who conceals his sins

does not prosper, but whoever confesses

and renounces (forsakes, KJV) them finds


2. I Jn. 1:5-10 how to deal with sin

F. Owning up to your attitudes and actions will

be the first step in true freedom.


A. A heart inclined to do whatever one wants

rather than God’s will, when seen as that—a

self-willed heart, will lead one to

desire/hunger for right, for mercy.

B. David cries out for God’s cleansing

1. vs. 7. cleanse me, wash me; I want a

clean conscience again;

2. vs. 9 remove my guilt, my trespass, I

want to know my trespass is not a barrier

to our relationship.

3. Notice what David doesn’t ask for

a) a remedy of sacrifices and


b) to give gifts of some kind to the

temple or to God.

3. Only God can cleanse and restore the


C. David also cries out for a re-creation.

1. Note what David asks for, vs. 10a, a

pure heart; not one devising evil or

seeking his own desires.

2. Vs. 10b Renew a steadfast spirit within

me; help me not to waver in my

convictions, nor be led astray,

3. vs. 11a. A Presence with God ; an

hourly, daily relationship with God

4. vs. 11b A sign of God’s presence—the

Holy Spirit

5. vs. 12a Joy of his salvation,

relationship With God; Let me feel good

again about who I belong to.

6. vs. 12b. A willing spirit to sustain

him; A spirit of support as he seeks God’s


D. We see into David’s heart with this plea, He

wants above all to have an ever strengthening

and abiding relationship with God, with no

barriers, interferences or anything to

intervene in it.

E. This should be self-explanatory to us, our

hunger should be the same.

1. Pure hearts, sustaining spirits, an

everyday drive to not let anything or

anyone interfere with our salvation and

relationship with God



A. David looks forward to future service to God.

B. The heart that has “come clean” to itself,

for it is always known to God, Heb. 4:13,

will want to be used in God’s service.

1. v. 13. I will teach transgressors your

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Michael De Rosa

commented on Sep 10, 2006

Rob, I appreciate your outline. I am doing a sermon series on Bible characters, and preach on the life of King David. After reading his story in God's Word, and beginning to know something of the direction I sought to go, your outline of this text helped me immensely. May God richly bless you!

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