[CF Devotionals] 2007-02-18 - Pardoning Mercies

Psalm 51:1, 2, "Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin."

This Psalm is all too well-known to us. It is a cry for mercy to the Lord by King David, because of his sin. The occasion of this Psalm was David's sin respecting the events of his adultery with Bathsheba, which included murder.

Consider for a moment who David was. He was the ruler of a nation and had riches, power and everything that goes with being a king. Here we see a king crying for mercy. It is a dramatic picture. He who could act with impunity cries to God for compassion. The consideration for us is that even in all his glory, David could not wash away the power of an afflicted conscience. All he was, and all he had, could not remove the sin that tormented him. Sin makes the king a beggar before God. Let us remember that every sin leaves behind its guilt, and tarnishment. This is only removed by the purifying blood of Jesus Christ.

Our souls are aware of our contamination. We cannot ourselves take such a burden off our backs. Our only hope is to go to the Lord and seek his mercy. This is what David does here. He knows of God's love. He begins this plea by making mention of God's unfailing love. It seems as if he is starting out his appeal for mercy by reminding God that He is a merciful God. This is a good lesson for us for two reasons. First, David acknowledges clearly that God is Lord and gives Him the place He deserves. David approaches God in humility, and we should do likewise. Second, it is a good practice, in our prayers and entreaties to the Lord, to remind Him of His grace and promises to us in the past and in His Holy Word. God doesn't need reminding, but doing this puts us in the mindset of our utter dependence upon the Lord for all our peace and comfort.

David's consideration of God's lovingkindness and willingness to forgive is a wonderful encouragement to us to do likewise. We are prone to run away from God when we fall into sin, but this is exactly the opposite of what we should do. We should prayerfully and humbly admit our failures and, seeking His mercy, resolve to live again in the newness of life that is ours in Christ. Sin is spiritual deformity, and David remorsefully seeks the Lord for sanctifying mercies. Let us be wise and likewise cast our sins upon the pardoning mercy of the Lord.

Soli Deo Gloria,

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