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February 6, 2022

Sermon Series: Introduction to Some Selected Psalms

Sermon # 6


Psalm 51:1-12

Introduction: A college freshman went to the dorm laundry room with his dirty clothes bundled into an old sweatshirt. Embarrassed by how dirty his clothes were, he never opened the bundle but just pushed the clump of dirty clothes into the washing machine. When the machine stopped, he pushed the bundle into the dryer. Finally, he took the still-unopened bundle of clothes to his room----only to discover that they were not clean.

There is a moral to this story for Christian lives, “Don’t keep your sins in a safe little bundle. Bring them out in the open one by one and confess them so they may be cleansed.” Confession of our sins to God is essential. What is confession? The word means “to say the same thing.” Confession is agreeing with God about our sin. It also involves repentance, or a turning away from the sin confessed, no longer embracing it.

Psalm 51 is one of the most graphic pictures of confession of sin found anywhere in the Bible. This psalm contains David’s humble prayer for forgiveness as he sought cleansing from God after a massive moral breakdown in his life. As the superscription of the psalm suggests, it was written after David’s sin of adultery with Bathsheba which was followed by the sin of murder against her husband Uriah (2 Sam. 11). Almost a year after this sin, God directed the prophet Nathan to confront David with his sin, and only then was David quick to repent. Let’s look at four requirements regarding, “How to Get Rid of Guilt!”



v. 1-2

A. David understood that forgiveness with God was based solely on divine mercy, unfailing love, compassion, and not by human merit. The opening appeal, “Have mercy on me, O God” was a request not for what he deserved---painful discipline---but for what he desperately needed---divine grace. David was aware of his need to have God’s mercy according to His unfailing love and great compassion. He appealed to God to act in accordance with his loving nature.

B. This appeal for forgiveness is pictured in three ways.

1. The phrase “Blot out my transgressions” means to wipe away David’s sinful acts of rebellion and willful deviation.

2. Comparing himself to a foul garment stained with filth, David prayed, “Wash away all my iniquity” as a person would wash dirty clothes.

3. He pleaded, “Cleanse me from my sin.”

This threefold request expressed David’s desire for complete forgiveness by the Lord.



v. 3-6

A. My sin is before me. Painfully aware of his sin, David acknowledged, “I know my transgressions.” His conscience pressed guilt from his sin to his mind, so much so that his sin was always before him, haunting his mind.

B. My sin is against God. David acknowledged that he had done evil in God’s sight, and he was ready to accept God’s verdict. He didn’t try to shift the blame to someone else. David offered no lame excuses to God, only a full confession of his own guilt that deserved divine judgment.

C. My sin is within me. “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” David saying, that his heart was corrupt. I was born sinful at birth. It was at conception that the Adamic sin nature was transmitted to him. God desires truth in the inner parts indicate that David had been living a lie before God by attempting to cover up his sin.

God wants us to be truthful with Him when we sin, and don’t try to cover it up.



v. 7-9

A. Cleanse me of guilt. “Purge me with hyssop” alludes to the image of a leper seeking cleansing. In such a case, hyssop would be dipped in blood and sprinkled seven times on the leper at the altar (Lev. 14:6). Accordingly, David saw himself as a spiritual leper in need of divine cleansing.

B. Cheer me with gladness:

a. David wanted God to restore his joy.

b. To relieve his brokenness.

C. Clear me of charges. “Hide thy face from my sins.” In other words, “Forgive me so you will not look upon my sins any longer. “Blot out all mine iniquities.”



v. 10-12

David desires from God a:

A. Pure heart (Create in me a clean heart).

B. Steadfast spirit (renew a right spirit within me). A spirit of obedience.

C. Empowered life (Do not cast me from your presence) This was a plea for God not to remove His divine power from David’s life. David asked God not to take His Holy Spirit from his life.

D. Joyful heart (David pleaded to God to restore to him the joy of his salvation.

Notice that David did not ask God to restore his salvation, because he knew it had never been lost. Instead, he asked God to restore the joy of his salvation. Confessed sin gives us joy, and unconfessed sin will choke the joy out of our hearts.

Psalm 51 teaches us how to confess our sins, and HOW TO GET RID OF GUILT!

1. A cry for forgiveness

2. A confession of sin

3. A call for cleansing

4. A commitment to holiness

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