The Psalms today are attributed exclusively to David. In the first three Psalms God’s dealings with the wicked provide a connecting thread, while in the second three it’s God’s protection against David’s enemies.
Yesterday I invited you to read Psalm 45 closely and note your observations. I encourage you to do the same with Psalm 51 today. Since the Psalm is attributed to David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba, it might be helpful to revisit that occasion from 2 Samuel 12:
Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. And I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites… David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” 2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13
Read Psalm 51 closely. What do you notice? How does it line up with the events that led to it? As with Psalm 45, what is it that makes this Psalm part of the worship canon? What do you learn about repentance and worship? And most importantly, what do you learn about the LORD through it?
As I’ve stated before, the in-the-moment expression of human reflection is one of the Psalms most beautiful attributes. What you are reading today is one man’s response to getting caught – to finding that his own sin has trapped him, and that his only hope for salvation is to turn to the LORD. Remember the rest of David’s story – especially how, because of his sin, the sword would never depart from his house. Allow the marriage of the story with this Psalm to guide your meditation on sin, repentance, and restoration.
Our verse for this week is 2 Timothy 3:16: All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.
Psalms 51 through 56. Now let’s read it!
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,