“Wash away my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”
Psalm 51:2 (NIV)
“Wash away my iniquity. . . “
David choses to clarify his desire to be right with God. The king wants God to clear away the sin that encumbers him and those close to him.
In this passage, (Psalm 51) David seeks forgiveness from God. He uses at least three different words for his behavior—transgressions, iniquity, and sin. He examines this sin like a person would examine a gem—studying each surface of it. In this way, David comes clean before God.
In our 21st Century, we have people who make light of their sin. They use the excuse that “no one gets hurt, so what’s the big deal?” Or they put off the idea that they have done anything wrong, as in “It’s not sinful to say that.” And then there are, “That’s who I am.” Or “It’s just me.”
“. . . cleanse me from my sin.”
David magnifies his desire to get right with God by approaching his condition from yet a third angle. Once he recognizes his sin, courtesy of Nathan, he knows its severity.
An innocent baby, David’s son took ill and died. David was grief stricken. He had committed multiple sins in his affair with Bathsheba and the following cover-up. I believe he would not tolerate that level of behavior had anyone else committed those transgressions.
In our 21st Century, we aren’t as forthcoming about our sinful selves. We are quick to point out our neighbor’s transgressions and, at the same time, call our misdoings acceptable. When Jesus walked this earth, He told his followers to “take the plank out of your eye before you point out the sawdust in your neighbor’s eye.”
David is in the process of repentance (coming clean) of his sin. We all should do likewise.