Summary: God calls every person to Himself through the grace found only through repentance

Song of Repentance

Psalm 51

September 7, 1997

Evening Service


I. The Snowflake’s Dirty Heart: The crystal formations of snowflakes are beautiful, they have many different shapes and sizes, all are different but have one common thread, dirty hearts, the center is a formation of dirt, holds the flake together,

II. Humanity has Dirty Hearts: We are the greatest of all creation, God’s pride and joy, all are different but have a common thread - sin, everyone is marked by sin, we all have to pay the consequences of sinful actions, the dirty heart is the one thing we all have in common, original sin follows and flows through every life

III. The Psalm of Forgiveness: We have a common source of being cursed, we also have a common source for forgiveness and blessing,


I. Basic Background

A. Writer: The language is personal and corporate in nature, this is meant as a lament for an individual and for the nation, This is a Psalm of David, a lament of repentance and plea for forgiveness,

B. Situation: The traditional circumstance is the confrontation between Nathan and David, David wrote this after the event, this is his song of repentance,

II. Prayer for Individual Restoration

A. Plea for mercy: David pleas for mercy from God, God and God alone has the ability to forgive sin, he realizes his personal sin and the need for God to give mercy, the need for God to bestow grace

B. Plea for forgiveness: Forgiveness is an act of divine grace, must be sought before it can be given, forgiveness is the removal of sin, the person is then cleansed or washed, God will give grace to whom He pleases

III. Confession and Contrition

A. Confession of David: David confesses his sin, he realizes his actions against God and the severity of them, sin is direct violation of a known law of God, it is evil in the eyes of God, God is the true judge and His verdicts are just and right,

B. Contrition of the heart: David realizes God’s verdict, he goes to God about his rebellion, David cries out with his whole being to God, he confesses the sinful nature, God wants Truth in the heart and David requests that God teach him, the only way to be right with God is for God to show us His ways,

IV. Prayer and Restoration

A. Prayer for Forgiveness: David is calling for God’s cleansing, hyssop was used in the act of ritual cleansing, the concept of washing and blotting becomes clear, it is the act of God to grant forgiveness, petition of David for God to acts as the priest, this is the symbol of new life and new relationship with God, close to baptism, a declaration of full and complete cleansing

B. Prayer for renewal of joy: Joy comes from God and those not in right relationship with God can not experience joy, this is represented in rest in God, sinful behavior destroys the ability to rest in God, joy comes from being secure in God, this brings both peace and rest,

C. Prayer for full restoration of Divine favor: Forgiveness and cleansing restores the relationship with God, wisdom maintains that relationship, divine favor is the existence of relationship between God and humanity, when that relationship is not right there can be no divine favor, this is a gift from God to His people,

V. Thanksgiving

A. Instruction for others: David realizes his sin, asks for forgiveness, receives right relationship with Him, David now knows the sweetness of forgiveness and will teach others, he wants to become God’s instrument of restoration,

B. Praise for God: David has been delivered from his bloodguilt - calls for death, this comes from severe sin or causing another to die, David did both, he was forgiven and fully restored, the correct response is praise for God, God gave him a new lease on life

C. New commitment: David makes a deeper commitment to God, he states a new inner loyalty, he presents his broken and contrite heart, this is done with humility - required for a walk with God

VI. Prayer for National Restoration

A. Community aspect of sin: David’s sin effected not only the participants but the whole community, as king his relationship with God effected the national relationship with God,

B. Corporate forgiveness: David is asking for God to extend forgiveness to the nation, corporate forgiveness takes shape in the aspect of each individual, God to restore Israel in favor and blessing

Note: David was forgiven for his sin, he still had to live with the consequences of his actions, God granted grace but there were repercussions because of actions, these were serious consequences, David’s entire family was effected - children violated one another, hatred grew in the house, rebellion of a son, brother killed brother, sin tends to perpetuate itself

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