Against You I have Sinned: Psalm 51 (part 5)

“Against you, and you alone,

I have sinned

And that which is evil in your eyes, I have done—

Thus, you are justified in your words

And pure in your judgments.

(Psalm 51:6 {Psalm 51:4 in English Bibles})

 

Here is a verse that people sometimes stumble over until they begin to understand that sin, in any manifestation, is outward rebellion against God—it is a repetition of the willful disobedience of Adam and Eve.  God had given them a righteous command—don’t eat of this tree—and it was a command that was meant for their own good.  The tree, we are told, was the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Indeed, goodness they understood, for they had a perfect relationship with God on high and there was no separation between God and man—what more magnificent goodness could one know?  Yet, what they did not know was evil and evil’s relationship to good—and there is the rub—they chose to make their own rule—thinking themselves wiser than God—and ate of the fruit.  From that point on, a world that only knew good now knew evil as well, and not in an abstract way, but deeply, intimately, and personally.  And when you or I willfully enter into sin and do not resist sinful temptations, we are repeating the acts of Adam and Eve.  Oh, what a sick and depraved race we are.

Unless you understand the wickedness of sin, when you come to this verse, you may be tempted to ask the question that many do, “How can David’s sin be only against God?”  “Did he not sin against Uriah?”  “Did he not sin against Bathsheba?”  “Is not the baby paying the price for David’s sin?”  The answer to these questions is that yes, David did sin against Uriah and Bathsheba.  And though the child would die, it is the parents, David and Bathsheba, who will bear the worst part of the grief for the loss of the child, for indeed, this child of believers will go straight to his heavenly father’s side.  David also sinned against the people for betraying his responsibility as their king.  With this being said, what David understands is this—no matter how ugly the sin may be in the eyes of the world, it is outward rebellion against a holy and righteous God and that makes it an infinitely greater offense.  Sins against men will pass with time; sins against God are eternal.  And because of that, his sin stands before God and before God alone.

And what of the last clause in this verse?  How is God justified in his words?  God had spoken through the prophet Nathan that this child would die because of his sin.  David is saying that as he understands his sin to be an affront to God, God is righteous and pure in punishing sin—both in this world and in the next.  In seeking forgiveness, David acknowledges that he already stands guilty and convicted by his sin and that he is deserving of wrath.

Beloved, do you think of sin in these terms?  If you don’t, you should—indeed, you must.  Until you begin to come to terms with your total and complete unworthiness, how can you rest in the work of Christ?  We will never rest wholeheartedly on another if we think there is even a small handhold for us to reach for, and upon Christ, and Christ alone we must rest.  There is no other that can save us for there is no other that has borne the punishment for our sins—it is Christ and Christ alone to whom you must cling.

My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine;

For thee all the follies of sin I resign.

My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou;

If ever I loved thee, my Jesus ‘tis now.

-William Featherstone

One Comment

  1. Carroll

    I have sinned against the Lord of Lord King of Kings and i seek redemption forgiveness please so I can be free I believe in the salvation of the Word of Our Lord through Jesus Christ God is Great in mine eyes. Thank You my Lord for each and every day and Forgive Give me you know my sin.

    Like

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