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Monday, January 07, 2008

A Prayer for Mercy

A Sermon on Psalm 51: 1-6


(Psa_51:1-6) The psalmist prays for mercy, humbly confessing and lamenting his sins.

(Psa_51:7-15) He pleads for pardon, that he may promote the glory of God and the conversion of sinners.

(Psa_51:16-19) God is pleased with a contrite heart, A prayer for the prosperity of Zion. -


Psa 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Q. What do we need as sinners?

A. The mercy of God.


Q. Who did David go to for mercy?

A. He went to God.He went no where else for mercy. That would be pointless.


The individual nature of this prayer.“Have mercy upon me, O God”

We all must come as individuals before God for mercy.

Q. On what basis does David plead the mercy of God?

A. “according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.”


{This word in the Hebrew brings attention to the mercy of God}

It is almost as if David had said.“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy mercy”

Our God is the God of Mercy.

Illustration:Lot being delivered from Sodom.

Gen 19:16
And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

When the Lord shewed himself to Moses this is what we read.

Exo 34:6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

Moses speaking to the children of Israel.

Deu 4:31 (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.

Neh 9:17 ……………but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness,…………………..

Note:God is ready to pardon.

Psa 37:26
He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.

Psa 103:8
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

Psa 51:2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

“Wash me” “kaw-bas”
“to trample” hence to wash (properly by stamping with the feet)This is a very physical act of cleansing.Christ himself trampled our sins by being trampled himself for our sakes.


The level to which we need this washing.“Wash me throughly from mine iniquity”

This word in the Hebrew


It appears 222 times in the biblical text.multiply, 41much, 32multiplied, 29many, 27increase, 19increased, 15more, 11great, 9

These words have to do with the extent of the subject.

The believer does not want partial washing but complete washing from sin.


The personal nature of sin.Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin
Also verses 3-4.

In order for forgiveness to be realized we must be convinced of the personal reality of our guilt.

This sin belongs personally to me!!! It is my property!!!

Psa 51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

“I acknowledge”yaw-dah'

This word appears 930 times in the biblical text.

The most common translation of it is the word “Know”429 times.

Therefore David could have said,“I know my transgressions”

Q. Do you know your transgressions?

Q. Can the believer escape sin by himself?No.

“and my sin is ever before me”We cannot avoid sin it must be dealt with by God himself.


Psa 51:4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

We need to ask a very simple and obvious question at this point.

Q. Who have we sinned against?

A. God, and God only.“Against thee, thee only, have I sinned”

Note,David had committed Adultery and Murder yet he says it was against God.

All sin is committed against God.


The unbeliever has no consciousness of his true guilt before God.

He thinks his only responsibility is to those around him.

Consider,What is the character of sin.“and done this evil in thy sight”

Sin is Evil.

Evil = Heb.mischief, misery, sorrow, trouble, wicked, wretchedness, wrong.


There is nothing good about sin!!!

Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Consider,The origin of Sin.

Verse 5.

We are by our very nature, sinners.That is what theology calls “Original sin”

Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.


growth (by germination or expansion)

Psa 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

We could put a title over this verse,“What God Wants”“thou desirest truth in the inward parts”

Consider firstly what God does not want.

Religious conformity or Heartless observance

Our Lord speaking to the woman at the well said:

Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

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