Father, I belong to You as to no other. You are above, around and within me. I praise Your holy name.
Read Psalm 51:1-19
 For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“For I seek those tears shed, not for display, but in repentance … those that trickle down secretly and in closets … those which are for God alone” (John Chrysostom, AD 349-407).
This psalm is connected with David’s dual sins of adultery and murder. For a while David lived in denial, but when confronted by Nathan, David truly repented, the pain of which is all the more poignant because of his deep relationship with God. Here we hear a soul weeping with repentance, and note the marks of true repentance. First, there is a longing to be cleansed from the guilt of sin (“wash … cleanse,” v. 2). The soul is aware of its treacherous sin (3) and how deep its sinfulness is embedded in its nature (5). It knows that on its own, it is powerless to get rid of the shame, guilt, and dirt—only God, whom it has hurt and offended, can bring cleansing. Therefore it pleads for God’s mercy and forgiveness, an experience every sinner can have before the cross where the one we have offended died for us.
Second, the repentant soul wants to be changed and transformed (10). Forgiveness must lead to faithfulness in our innermost parts (6). There is a longing for purity and holiness that are possible only when God creates a new heart that would seek to live obediently (12). Third, the repentant soul longs for the presence of God that was taken away by sin (11). This is not a soul that looks at forgiveness as a commercial transaction we make with God to get the balances right. Rather it goes to the heart of the matter; sin disrupts our fellowship with God. The repentant soul longs for that fellowship to be restored. To summarize, the truly repentant soul longs for forgiveness, transformation, and intimacy with God. And the tears of true repentance would turn into tears of joy (12,17) in the presence of our holy and merciful God.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Confess any sin and ask God’s forgiveness.
Thank You, Lord, that when I confess my sins they are forgiven, forgotten, forever. What an amazing God You are!
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