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Psalm 51 (Part 1)

Psalm 51 (Part 1)

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Published by Virgil Gill
A sermon on a psalm about true confession
A sermon on a psalm about true confession

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: Virgil Gill on Nov 15, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Psalm 51 (Part 1)
Scripture ReadingPs 51:10
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renewa right spirit within me.
IntroductionAt this time, I wanted to share with you my appreciation for this Psalm abovemany of the Psalms written by David. For me, the words in this Psalm are at theheart of the true Christian experience. To deepen you Christian experience, Isuggest meditating on this Psalm:
Do you wish to make a long lasting change in your life?
Do you want a deeper religious experience?
Do you want to secret to overcoming temptations?If you take a prayerful look at this Psalm, then I believe that this Psalm canbring about a permanent change in the life of any true Christian. Just like many of the Psalms, Ps 51 is a prayer and a song at the same time. It isa prayer around confession, repentance, cleansing and encouragement. The background to Ps 51 is as follows:
One of the main features of this Psalm is really about David’s attitude tohis relationship with God. The Psalm is really a personal heart-to-hearthonest dialogue with God
David often sells himself as a man of integrity and character. After all, hekilled Goliath as a young boy and shows the upmost respect to his enemyin the face of severe injustice. He refuses to drink the water that his 3mighty men risked their lives for.Honour and Integrity were held in high regard by David………part of thereason why he didn’t kill Saul. David prided himself on personal andSpiritual integrity. Most church going people wouldn’t consider themselvesas perfect but they would consider themselves as having a certain degreeof Spiritual and personal integrity. In that sense, many of us are like David.
David does tend to show some self-confidence and self-assurednessin his walk with God and rightly so because he has been committed todoing right. He has lived a good life and has tried to follow God’s ways. e.g.Ps 4:3
3But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him
He genuinely loves God.  This Psalm is the record of a confessional prayer. When Catholics go forconfession, is it a public or private matter? What about your own personalsecret sins, would you want them made public? The feeling is that this confession is for a sin of such magnitude that thewillingness to record it indicates that it serves as a warning as much asanything else. It warns us in regard to: The types of wrongdoing we are all capable of  The right course of action to take if and when we do sin This Psalm is also a perfect example of full and public confession…Would Rupert Murdoch admit to endorsing phone hacking and make a full andpublic apology? Unlikely, he would lose a lot of face, credibility, not to mention,sponsors and other financial backers. You just don’t admit to wrongdoing in thepublic eyeIf a person makes a full and public confession about a secret sin then you knowit must be genuine repentance This Psalm is written about a year after a man with the highest amount of integrity both in personal and public estimation commits a crime that is trulyputrid….A well planned murder of a loyal servant after stealing the only thing hehad of value….his wife.Ex: ColumboOver the year, he must have wrestled with the guilt of his crime and probablyhad many sleepless nights. He avoided the opportunity to confess immediatelyand allowed it to fester, only confessing once the prophet Nathan brought it tohis attention. To me, this indicates that David would have kept this hiddenotherwise and after a while may have become hardened to its’ consequences. This sin brought about many adverse effects in David’s life from then on. This is truly a horrendous crime which would fill our current tabloids to the full;perhaps on a scale of the Tiger Woods or Arnold Schwarzenegger sagas. This Psalm however, has more to do with the attitude of true confession ratherthan the magnitude of sin. Lets take a look at the Psalm more deeply:Ps 51:1
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according untothe multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
Que: What word occurs the most often in this verse? MercyInteresting that David asks for Mercy before forgiveness…..why is that?Ex 34: 5, 6
5 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORDGod, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth
How would you describe yourself if someone was to ask you about who youwere?How does the Lord describe himself?David knew enough about God’s character to know that his primary objective isto be merciful. Something that Judas failed to understand and even manyChristians today. They KNOW about Mercy. But have not experienced God’smercy. David must have experienced God’s mercy before and appeals to itagain. We NEED this mercy experience in order to be changed.Read verses 2-5
2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Que: What is the common denominator in these verses?
Iniquity, Sin,Trangression, Evil
Sin is mentioned 4 times, Iniquity 2, transgression 1, evil 1What is the message that David is trying to put across? I have sinned, I havesinned, I have sinned and I truly what I have done and what I have become!If someone had told him prior that he would have committed such a sin hewould noyt have believed it. Just as if we would not believe it if we were told thesame thing.

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