“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love, according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.” Psalm 51:1
David, the king of Israel, pleads for forgiveness from God. He begs for mercy. Mercy happens when we do not get what we deserve.
The prophet Nathan approached David and let the king know that his affair with Bathsheba was not a secret.
Not only did David commit adultery, He had her husband murdered when Uriah chose not to return to his home when he was called back to confer with the king. These words could either seem haughty or humble. I believe they show repentance and sorrow over the bad choices and the resultant loss of an innocent newborn baby.
“. . . according to your unfailing love. . .”
David knew of God’s unfailing love. God’s love kept David safe from King Saul when Saul tracked down David and threatened his life. He experienced God’s love when He protected Daivd from his son Absalom.
God loves us unconditionally—we don’t have to meet any standard to receive this love. He loves us because He created us.
We don’t fully understand the concept of this unconditional, unfailing love. We know it exists, we see evidence of it all the time.
“. . . according to your great compassion. . .”
God forgave David for his transgressions that stemmed from the Bathsheba incident. The Apostle John wrote, “If we confess our sin he is faithful and just and cleanses us from our unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
He does this because of his ability to walk with us and experience our sadness when we realize what we have done and the resulting hardship on ourselves and on others that our sin touches.
How great is God’s compassion for us His children? We can only imagine. He told Abram (Abraham) to look as far as he could see God would eventually give him all that land.
How many times did God forgive us for transgressing against Him?
“. . . blot out my transgressions.”
King David asks God to blot out (absorb) his sins. This tells me a couple of things:
1. David knew he had crossed the line between what was acceptable and what wasn’t.
2. David also knew God would remove the offensive actions from his ‘sheet’.
When I was in the fifth grade, we had fountain pens (pens that used liquid ink) In order for the ink on a sheet of paper to dry quickly; we had a piece of absorbent material we placed on the inked words or lines to blot out the excess.
In today’s world, we still can ask God to remove our sins from our lives.