I. Read Psalm 51.
For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
you who are God my Savior,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.
18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
in burnt offerings offered whole;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.
Introduction – When was the last time your sin caused you or someone else great pain and loss? Sin is a destructive force. In our modern age of toleration we often fail to hate sin. We lose sight of the harm it does. In this psalm David was hit with the full force of what he had done. The wise prophet Nathan cleverly presented the truth of the situation to David by telling him the story of the man who owned a lamb and of his neighbor who coveted the lamb. As David’s anger burned against the covetous neighbor in the story Nathan revealed to him that he was in truth that neighbor. This psalm reflects repentance. This is the true spirit of deep sorrow and regret over sin we have committed as we see the damage it has done to others and to our relationship with a holy God. In repentance we can truly seek grace and forgiveness and we can find it. Explore the heart of repentance as you read this psalm and meditate on it.
Answer the questions in your own words.
- When was the last time you grasped how your sin hurt others or damaged your relationship with God?
- In reflection of your own sin, which verses of this psalm most connect with your feelings of repentance?
- How does this psalm reflect the fruits of repentance?
- What fruits of repentance come forth in your own walk with God?
II. Pray Psalm 51. Write out a brief prayer of repentance in your own words using Psalm 51 as an example.
III. Sing Psalm 51.
- Sing some of the verses of Psalm 51 recorded by the late Keith Green.
- Psalm 51 with the tune St Mary.
- Psalm 51 with the tune Gethsemane.
- Psalm 51 with the tune Miserere.
- Sing the metrical version of Psalm 51 using the tune of Amazing Grace or
|1 After thy loving-kindness, Lord,have mercy upon me:For thy compassions great, blot outall mine iniquity.2 Me cleanse from sin, and thoroughly washfrom mine iniquity:3 For my transgressions I confess;
my sin I ever see.
4 ‘Gainst thee, thee only, have I sinned,
in thy sight done this ill;
That when thou speak’st thou may’st be just,
and clear in judging still.
5 Behold, I in iniquity
was formed the womb within;
My mother also me conceived
in guiltiness and sin.
6 Behold, thou in the inward parts
with truth delighted art;
And wisdom thou shalt make me know
within the hidden part.
7 Do thou with hyssop sprinkle me,
I shall be cleansed so;
Yea, wash thou me, and then I shall
be whiter than the snow.
8 Of gladness and of joyfulness
make me to hear the voice;
That so these very bones which thou
hast broken may rejoice.
9 All mine iniquities blot out,
thy face hide from my sin.
10 Create a clean heart, Lord, renew
a right sp’rit me within.
11 Cast me not from thy sight, nor take
thy Holy Sp’rit away.
12 Restore me thy salvation’s joy;
with thy free Sp’rit me stay.
13 Then will I teach thy ways unto
those that transgressors be;
And those that sinners are shall then
be turned unto thee.
14 O God, of my salvation God,
me from blood-guiltiness
Set free; then shall my tongue aloud
sing of thy righteousness.
15 My closèd lips, O Lord, by thee
let them be opened;
Then shall thy praises by my mouth
abroad be publishèd.
16 For thou desir’st not sacrifice,
else would I give it thee;
Nor wilt thou with burnt-offering
at all delighted be.
17 A broken spirit is to God
a pleasing sacrifice:
A broken and a contrite heart,
Lord, thou wilt not despise.
18 Show kindness, and do good, O Lord,
to Zion, thine own hill:
The walls of thy Jerusalem
build up of thy good will.
19 Then righteous off ‘rings shall thee please,
and off ‘rings burnt, which they
With whole burnt-off ‘rings, and with calves,
shall on thine altar lay.
|Page Copyright 2001, Music for the Church of God|