Delight in Sacrifices of Righteousness: Psalm 51 (part 20)

“Then you will delight in sacrifices of righteousness— a burnt offering, even a whole one; then bulls will go up upon your altar.” (Psalm 51:21 {Psalm 51:19 in English Bibles})   “Then,” David begins, pointing back to the verse that stands just before it—then, in light of the goodness of God as it is expressed… Read More

The Walls of Jerusalem: Psalm 51 (part 19)

“Do well, by your grace, in Zion, you shall build the walls of Jerusalem.” (Psalm 51:20 {Psalm 51:18 in English Bibles})   As David begins to close this prayer, the focus shifts from his personal guilt and needs to the needs of God’s people.  While David, as king of Israel, does have a responsibility toward… Read More

A Broken Spirit and Crushed Heart: Psalm 51 (part 18)

“The sacrifices of God are a spirit that is broken and a heart that is broken and crushed— O God, these you will not despise. (Psalm 51:19 {Psalm 51:17 in English Bibles})   There are two ways in which we can look at David’s statement about the “sacrifices of God.”  The first way is the… Read More

No Pleasure in Sacrifice: Psalm 51 (Part 17)

“For you do not take pleasure in sacrifice—I would give it— with whole burnt offerings you will not accept with pleasure.” (Psalm 51:18 {Psalm 51:16 in English Bibles})   Passages like this one have often caused people to stumble because of the many sacrifices that God required of the people in the ancient times—sacrifices that… Read More

My Mouth Will Declare Your Praise: Psalm 51 (part 16)

“Oh Lord, my lips you will open, and my mouth will declare your praise.” (Psalm 51:17 {Psalm 51:15 in English Bibles})   Loved ones, hear these words of David, and hear them well.  When it comes to your worship, and what the writer of Hebrews calls your “sacrifice of praise” (Hebrews 13:15), the value and… Read More

Save Me From Bloodguilt: Psalm 51 (part 15)

“Save me from bloodguilt, O God, God of my salvation; My tongue will exult in your righteousness!” (Psalm 51:16 {Psalm 51:14 in English Bibles})   What an amazing picture David paints for us in this verse!  Yet, to understand what he is showing us, we must understand the concept of “bloodguilt” in the Old Testament. … Read More

Teaching Rebels God’s Ways: Psalm 51 (part 14)

“I will teach rebels your ways, and sinners will return to you.” (Psalm 51:15 {Psalm 51:13 in English Bibles})   What then should be the outward response of the believer to the forgiveness of God?   While praise is usually the first thing that comes to mind—and it is an essential response, and part of David’s… Read More

Restore the Joy of Your Salvation: Psalm 51 (part 13)

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation; and with an honorable Spirit you shall uphold me.” (Psalm 51:14 {Psalm 51:12 in English Bibles})   So often when we read this verse, or hear this verse cited by people in the wider church community, it is cited in a way that is almost totally centered… Read More

Do Not Send Me Away from Your Presence: Psalm 51 (part 12)

“Do not send me away from your presence, and your Holy Spirit—do not take him from me.” (Psalm 51:13 {Psalm 51:11 in English Bibles})   In this verse, David returns to a chiastic structure.  The verses that have gone before have been largely arranged in a simple parallel structure and this change is designed to… Read More

Create a Clean Heart in Me: Psalm 51 (part 11)

“A heart that is clean, you must create in me, O God; and a spirit that is steadfast, you must continually renew in my being.” (Psalm 51:12 {Psalm 51:10 in English Bibles})   Oh, how little man can do on his own!  It is God who providentially equips him to do anything of lasting value. … Read More

Conceal Your Face from My Sins: Psalm 51 (part 10)

“Conceal your face from my sins, and all my iniquities may you wipe clean.” (Psalm 51:11 {Psalm 51:9 in English Bibles})   Have you ever had to deal with something that is just so disgusting and distasteful that you just had to turn your head for fear that you might get sick, and simply work… Read More

Let Me Hear Jubilation and Joy: Psalm 51 (part 9)

“Let me hear jubilation and joy, Let the bones that you have crushed rejoice!” (Psalm 51:10 {Psalm 51:8 in English Bibles})   Just as forgiveness can only come from the Lord, so too does restoration.  True joy cannot be had apart from God, because true joy is something that can only be experienced in relationship… Read More

Purify Me with Hyssop: Psalm 51 (part 8)

“Purify me with hyssop and I will be clean; deep clean me, and I will be made whiter than snow.” (Psalm 51:9 {Psalm 51:7 in English Bibles})   David understands well one of the most important lessons that any human can learn:  it is only God and God alone who can cleanse from sin.  No… Read More

Born in Iniquity: Psalm 51 (part 6)

“Behold, in iniquity I was birthed, and in sin, my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:7 {Psalm 51:5 in English Bibles})   A diamond is formed when coal is compacted under a great deal of force, essentially squeezing a great deal of matter into a small object.  Beloved, the same is true with verses like this… Read More

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,… Read More

My Sin is Before Me: Psalm 51 (part 4)

“For my transgressions I know, and my sin is continually before me.” (Psalm 51:5  [Psalm 51:3 in English Bibles])   David switches gear from using the emphatic chiastic structure to a simple parallel structure—even so, we will not lose the clear emphasis of what he is communicating.  Here he is, staring at his own transgressions… Read More

Wash Me From My Iniquity: Psalm 51 (part 3)

“Completely wash me from my iniquity; from my sin, purify me.” (Psalm 51:4 [Psalm 51:2 in English Bibles])   Once again we find David employing a chiastic structure (something he will do through the bulk of this psalm) to add emphasis, bringing together two parallel ideas, yet mirroring them in their order.  These are not… Read More