“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Thy presence, And do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me.”- Psalm 51: 10-11 (NASB)
There’s a segment in Paul David Tripp’s book “Do You Believe” where he says this, “One of the sad results of sin is that the average sinner on the street carries with him little, if any, awareness, understanding, or guilt of sin. Sin is no longer a category in people’s minds or in our culture.” It’s a good thing the apostle Paul isn’t commenting right now because he, being the chief of all sinners (next to me of course) would probably jump up suddenly, begin to preach from wherever he could grab a spot, most likely would offend someone (especially in today’s sensitive ears) and end up in county lock-up where he would do the same to a captive audience (yes, pun intended).
When we take a look at how King David views his sin in Psalm 51, words like transgression, iniquity, and (in not so light translations) bloodguiltiness are part of his plea to YHVH for His forgiveness. As matter of fact here, what you will see in this Psalm is David’s cry of contrition, his cry for cleansing and his cry of consecration. The thing that can blow you away is that Davis cries are to God only. “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight.” (Psalm 51:4a) Considering David’s sins were about as heinous as anything I could come up with, along with the parties he offended, how is anybody supposed to understand David’s claim that he sinned against God only?
Well, just read through the Psalm and you’ll read a man that knows he violated every law that THE Lawgiver put down. For a moment David lost his concept of the first 4 commandments, which made it easier for the other 6 to be usurped. So, he knows he better make things right vertically since the horizontal is pretty much shattered when he came to the end of this event in his life. Jonathan Edwards once argued, “Nothing is more agreeable to the common sense of mankind, than that sins committed against any one, must be proportionally heinous to the dignity of the being offended and abused…This was the aggravation of David’s sin, in comparison of which he esteemed all others as nothing, because they were infinitely exceeded by it.”
“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23
So just what is Jonathan Edwards saying? Well, that ultimately David’s sin was against God only which, by the way, is infinitely worse than any sin committed against man. Besides, doesn’t it seem that God, through Jesus Christ, forgives way faster than some people? I ain’t just sayin’ that ‘cos a lot of us know that to be very true. So yes, in a way David acknowledges his sin against Bathsheba, Uriah and Israel was really some serious transgressions against a holy God, who David committed the equivalent of cosmic treason against. Not a good thing at all to do…ever!
To borrow the words of G.C. Berkouwer, “In this confession there is no disclaimer of David’s guilt over against Bathsheba and Uriah, and no minimizing of sins, but rather, in this guilt as over against his fellow man, he confesses his guilt before God. There is no delimiting of sin here, but rather an acknowledgement of guilt in the much wider context of its relation to God.” So I hope all this stuff has been made a little clearer.
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit.” – Psalm 32:1-2
The aforementioned verses also speak to what we’re seeing in Plasm 51. However, it’s almost as if these two Psalms are outta sych with each other but they really aren’t. Psalm 51 has David throwing himself on the Throne Room floor pleading for forgiveness, in Psalm 32 it seems as if it had been granted but who are we to dispute where a lesson from the Spirit of God should be? I share this because this Freedom Fighter just can’t stay gloomy if I can’t show that El Elyon forgives and when He does it is pure joy.
As I wrap up for today, but not on the subject, I highly recommend reading Psalm 51 then go read Psalm 32 and see where you are on the scale of transgression against God. As for me, well I’ve been trying to knock the apostle Paul off his high horse of being a chief of sinners. I have a feeling I ain’t alone, I got more to say about sin, until then…pray. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, a father, who has an education in Biblical Doctrine and is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy 2003. He also has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: “The wicked have many sorrows, and sorrows come to the lives of disobedient saints, but the cleansed Christian experiences the loving-kindness and mercy of the Lord.” – Warren Wiersbe
The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 31-33; Acts 21:17-40| You can download our 2022 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here.