The Psalm of Psalms of penitence…we sing it in church as a response to confession many times. This is a wonderful psalm – one that has, and continues to provide perspective on confession. In my mind, Psalm 51 is the standard for confession. David, a man after God’s heart, has stumbled…Bathsheba was her name and Nathan, the prophet, has pointed it out to David in a clear and succinct way…”you are the man” David…
Because this psalm deals only with confession, this psalm must be understood as a full meditation on the importance of confession. David has sinned, like all of us, he must obtain forgiveness if he/we is/are to enjoy full participation in the service of the Lord. But, first is confession! The overall message of this psalm is simple – no matter who we are or what we do…we can go to our God and tell him where we fall short…we can come seeking moral restoration. And once restoration comes, joyful life…faithful service…fellowship…these are the promises of restoration in and with God. How? By grace…simple and with never a doubt!
How simple? In Hebrew, the word for sin means to turn away from God. More assuredly, the Hebrew word for forgiveness, is the same and means to turn away from sin…to turn back to God. No, I did not make a mistake – in Hebrew, one word with two meanings…wrapped in grace! So, the next time we sin, turn away from God, remember that by grace we turn back to God…simple? Maybe it is more appropriate to place this in the category of love…God’s love – so great that grace comes through love. “Change My Heart O God” – #654…a response to confession…”change my heart O God…may i be like you”.
When we come to confession in our Sunday services…keep this psalm central in your heart. “Change my heart O God, make it ever true” – to the glory of God who can make all things possible…Amen.