Written by: Tim Wood

This Psalm was written after David committed adultery with Bathsheba. The superscription reads, “For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.”David is teaching us the process of guilt free living by the mercy of God. I will break it down in sections so we can see and practice the process.

Look to God

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. (Verses 1-2)

David looks to God’s compassion and cleansing. He appeals to his mercy and unfailing love. If you are to live guilt free, you must do the same. God will cleanse us and show compassion to us.

Confession to God

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.  Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. (Verses 3-5)

Confession is directed toward God. Confession is my agreement with God’s truth. I agree with God not only in words and thoughts, but also in my practice. David transgressed, or broke the laws of God. David sinned, or missed the mark of God’s standard. In order to live guilt free, one must confess and repent of sin.

Restoration from God

Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.  Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. (Verses 6-9)

David is receiving God’s forgiveness. Notice what he says, “I will be clean, I will be whiter than snow, I will rejoice.”  It’s one thing to believe God has forgiven you and it’s another to receive the forgiveness of God.

Inward Renewal from God

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (Verses 10-12)

David is asking God for inward purity not just outward compliance. He asks God for the miracle of purity of heart and steadfastness of spirit. Joy comes when our inward and outward person lives in integrity.

Ministry to Others

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. (Verse 13)

God will never waste a painful moment of our life. He will use it to minister and bless others who are struggling with sin and guilt.

All of us have sinned. All of us fall short of God’s glory. But God is rich in mercy and compassion. God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to Him in repentance. Look to Him. Confess to Him. Receive His restoration. Ask him for purity inwardly and serve others as you live guilt free before God!!

Lord, we thank you that our chains are gone, we’ve been set free, my God, and my Savior has ransomed me! I will live in your forgiveness and freedom today.