Notes: September 5, 2008 – Psalms 51, 38 & 32

The artificial grouping of these three psalms of David is, nonetheless, instructive.

Note the progression of thought and emotion.

The guilty one pleads (Psalm 51)

Without doubt, the murderous adulterer is serious about seeking God’s mercy, as the following list reveals.

  • have mercy upon me (v 1)
  • blot out my transgressions
  • wash me from my iniquity (v 2)
  • cleanse me from my sin
  • purge me with hyssop (v 7)
  • wash me whiter than snow
  • make me to hear ( v 8 )
  • hide your face from my sins (v 9)
  • blot out all my iniquities
  • create in me a clean heart (v 10)
  • renew a right spirit within me
  • cast me not away from your presence (v 11)
  • take not your holy spirit from me
  • restore unto me the joy of your salvation (v 12)
  • uphold me with you free spirit
  • deliver me from bloodguiltiness (v 14)
  • open my lips to praise you (v 15)
  • do good (v 18)
  • build

The convicted one sorrows (Psalm 38)

At the beginning (v 1) and end (v21) of the psalm we find David seeking, not justice, but mercy. And between these extremities he speaks of the extremities of life which have overtaken him, all brought on by his sin.

The forgiven one rejoices (Psalm 32)

Guilty but forgiven, David rejoices in God’s mercy that sin can be covered and iniquity need not be imputed to our account with God.

Though there have been seasons of deep remorse because of his sin, the psalmist remember to rejoice in the Lord; and he encourages others to praise God, too (v 11).

Truly the man is blessed who need not worry about his sin. Are you blessed?