You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge
Psalm 51 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
4 Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
6 Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.
7 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Your praise.
16 For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
18 By Your favor
do good to Zion; Build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices,
In burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then young bulls will be offered on Your altar.
As with many of the psalms of David, this psalm resonates with me. Like David, I could say: Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. The problem with what David says and what we often feel; that our sin is ever before us, is that it should not be. Look at what God says in Isaiah 43:25: "I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.” Why should we keep our sin before us when God has washed us thoroughly; when He no longer remembers?
David says: Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge. It is important that we recognize and believe what he says. All sin is against God. Others may be affected. There may be consequences that endure even though our sin is forgiven. But, we must not confuse the consequences of sin with punishment for our sin. God will not continue to punish us for something He has forgotten. On the other hand, because it is against God that we sin, it does not matter if what we do is accepted by society. It does not matter if it is legal, if it is evil in God’s sight. He is the judge and the one who is just. 1 John 1:8-10 says: If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. God is faithful to forgive every sin that we confess. In Isaiah 5:20 God says: Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! We cannot blame the blameless judge, for our woe, when we sin against Him, doing what is evil in His sight.
David says: Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners will be converted to You… O Lord, open my lips, That my mouth may declare Your praise. When David says, Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me, we need to recognize that in truth God never casts us away. He is always the one who seeks us. He waits patiently for us when we have strayed from Him. We are the ones who leave His presence when we choose the path of sin and darkness. We are the ones who suppress the Holy Spirit within us, when we do not yield to conviction and truth. That’s why we need a new and clean heart; a heart that heeds what Jesus says is the first and great commandment: "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.” God will restore to us the joy of His salvation in Christ. He will sustain us with a willing spirit. We must be willing to yield to His Spirit. When we share our testimony of redemption, restoration and deliverance with others, we teach them the ways of God. We should not glory in the sins of our past, but neither should we be silent about what God has done for us. We should open our mouths to declare the praise of the holy, righteous and blameless judge.
Thank You Heavenly Father, the Righteous and Blameless Judge for Your faithfulness to forgive and forget my sins. Thank You Lord Jesus Christ, my redeemer and the one who restores my heart, soul and mind; that I might love God. Thank You Holy Spirit for guiding me in truth and light; for convicting me of sin that I might confess and be right with God. I will declare Your praise and choose to walk in Your ways. Amen.