1. The Life of David.
a. At the height of his power, David committed a
b. What sin did David commit?
(1) David had an affair with Bathsheba.
(2) David tried very hard to cover his sinful deed.
c. Anyone who had committed such sin would be in
2. Psalm 51 pictures David’s confession of sin.
a. He was overwhelmed with guilt. Under this weight
of guilt, David pleaded to God for mercy.
b. The whole Psalm 51 is about confession.
3. Confession of sin is one of the essential keys to
It is part and parcel of our Christian life.
a. What happens if one tries to cover-up?
(1) He will forfeit God’s blessing in his life.
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but
whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
(2) Physical illness may be the result of covering
David testified this in Psalm 32:3-4:
“When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my
roaring all the day long.
For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is
turned into the drought of summer.”
(3) The one who covers his sin in this life will be
uncovered in the next life.
According to Jesus, the day of judgement is coming,
and every sin will be revealed.
“For there is nothing covered, that shall not be
revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.
Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in
darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye
have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon
God will judge all sins that have been covered up,
and all sins that are hidden will be revealed (Rev 20).
b. But the sin that is confessed in this life, and
cleansed by the blood of Christ will not be exposed again.
1 John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to
forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
He has removed them from us as far as the east is from the
west (Ps 103:12).
c. Each of us, regardless of who we are, stands
where David stood.
(1) The Bible tells us that if we look with lust, we
(2) But the good news is, we can know of
(3) Let us now look at Psalm 51 which gives us the
steps leading to the joy of forgiveness.
I. DAVID ADMITTED HIS SIN (51:1-6)
This is one of the seven penitential psalms (Ps 6, 32, 38,
51, 102, 130 & 143).
In this psalm, David did not make any excuse for his
He took all the blame. It’s “me” and “mine” – all the way
(a) He talks about “mine iniquity” (v29), “my sin”
(v2b), “my transgressions” (v3a).
(b) He did not blame the circumstances, society or
his human weakness.
(c) All of these factors may have played a part in
(d) He assumed full responsibility.
2. I am very sinful (51:1, 2)
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy
lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender
mercies blot out my transgressions.
Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my
David cries for mercy out of the anguish of his heart
He uses three great words for sin.
“Transgression” – overstepping and breaking of
“Iniquity” – perversity, unrighteousness.
“Sin” – missing the mark.
He knows that forgiveness alone was insufficient.
So, he pleaded to God to “blot
out” his transgressions (51:1b).
The word “blot out” means to wipe away (cf Ex 32:32; Num
“Wash me thoroughly from mine
The word “wash” is connected with the laundering of clothes.
me from my sin (51:2b).
The word he used for “cleanse” is a ritual term for
pronouncing a leper who was ceremonially clean.
David looked at himself again; he saw a disease – a
deadly and incurable disease.
(c) He needs to be cleansed from that disease.
I am very sorry (51:3-6).
David cannot escape from his sin (v3).
He is unable to escape from the consciousness of
Now, he turned around and confessed before God:
“For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is
ever before me.”
No matter how much David has sinned against others
(specifically against Bathsheba and Uriah), in reality his
sin was primarily against God.
He confessed “Against thee, thee only
have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight.” (51:4a)
In fact, he broke all the commandments that refer to
man’s duty to his neighbour.
(3) So, we see that David had sinned against God’s
He had sinned against the holy God.
c. He accepted God’s verdict of his sin without any
(1) He said, “that thou mightest be justified when
thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.” (51:4b)
(2) He was saying, “God, you are absolutely justified
in any sentence You hand down, and no one can find fault
with Your verdict.”
DAVID PLEADED FOR PERSONAL CLEANSING
“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean…”
a. David felt contaminated.
b. He wanted to be purged with hyssop (51:7a).
David asked God to sprinkle him so that he will
become even whiter than snow (Isa 1:18).
“Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow”
It is a thorough and repeated scrubbing, a complete
cleansing from the pollution and the power of sin.
Today’s believers find their cleansing in the work of
Christ, accomplished on the cross (1 Jn 1:7, 9).
DAVID ASKED FOR RESTORATION
“Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation”
In other words, David asked that God would let him have the
peace and joy he had with Him again.
Perhaps, you have lost the joy that you had with God
before. Pray as David did, for restoration.
DAVID REDEDICATED TO GOD’S SERVICE
He wanted to regain his ministry and lead his people.
He wanted to witness to others.
He said, “I will teach transgressors thy ways; and
sinners shall be converted unto thee”
He wanted to praise God for what He has done.
a. He said, “My tongue shall sing aloud of thy
righteousness, and shall shew forth thy praise” (51:14b,
b. But once the Lord set him free he wanted to serve
the Lord and to praise His holy name.
c. What He had done for David, He can also do for
(1) Are you living a defeated life?
(2) God’s forgiveness is available to you.
If you ask Him, He will restore you again.