As we prepare for communion this week and process Daniel’s confession of sin, I wanted to look at Psalm 51, one of the most famous confessions in the Bible.
Quick recap is David, the man after God’s own heart, God’s King, has sinned…big time! There’s a series of shady and shameful events . First, rather than being with his men on the battlefield, David is at home. He’s resting when he should be working. Second, David repeats the sin of the Garden of Eden:
He sees that Bathsheba is good/beautiful in his eyes…so he took another man’s wife….(Compare 2 Samuel 11:1-4 with Genesis 3:6). Bathsheba is the forbidden fruit, going against God’s wisdom and will.
Bathsheba conceives and gets pregnant. Rather than confess his sin, David continues to hide in shame. He has Uriah sent to the front lines to be killed. Murder. In one fell swoop, David broke all 10 commandments, causing misery and pain, guilt and shame. It’s not until God calls David out of hiding through Nathan the prophet, that David confesses. Don’t miss the grace of God behind calling his people to repentance. It’s in the context of pursuing us!
What place does David meditate on, after he sins? Where does he get the language of Psalm 51 from? Look at it:
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
You know the feeling. When you think or say, “What’s wrong with me?!” after sinning or while hiding. David’s description of what’s wrong with us:
Iniquity – the idea that my nature is twisted – we, by nature, are self-deceived, so we don’t see God and the world accurately. Enslaved to our desires.
Transgression – willful rebellion – “God I wanted to do that” – I’m responsible for my decisions
Sin – to miss the mark – the failure to live a life of love and trust that God requires – we do things for our glory (like David), rather than God’s glory.
Where do you turn when you see your failure? Like David, we own it, and trust God’s own confession to be a God who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin. All due to God’s desire to be gracious to us.
If you’ve been with us in Brandon Perkin’s Sunday School class, you should hear echoes of Exodus 34:6-7! (Check out his class here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqG06oNkY69j5MD4_p0qyuKV4QBVQkY8B)
The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquityand transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.”
David remembered the day when Moses pled for forgiveness for God’s guilty people, so he pled for forgiveness for his own guilt and shame. We look to Jesus, the Friend of Sinners, the Crucified One…and that’s where we go with our confession. To the God of mercy, who sent His Son, to multiply His mercies for us, which are new every morning.
Communion is when we remember and have God seal the forgiveness of Jesus to our hearts. We are treated better than we deserve! And then we leave, having the joy of our salvation restored, we go, willing to teach other transgressors God’s ways! (Psalm 51:12-13). Grace is never just for me. It overflows for others through us!
Sunday School – Join us as we begin the book of Esther!
Worship –& Communion - We are going to look at the confusing parts of Daniel 9:20-27 – the 70 weeks to come after exile in Babylon is ended. Whatever that means, we know that the 70 weeks took place to put an end to sin and usher in everlasting righteousness – the kingdom of God. This is about the need for perseverance for God’s people, as they look forward to sin being ended by God’s anointed one, the Messiah. This too is about Jesus!
See you Sunday,
Grace and peace,