Psalms 51-55…The deception of sin.
Does the motive of a sin–its rationale, its reasons–make it any less a sin? Isn’t the betrayal of the sovereignty of the Lord in our lives always a sin, regardless of the factors that drove us to betray Him? Yes! Yet we habitually defend ourselves and diminish our fault by referring to reasons why we “had to” do it. We sinners are so backward that we try to justify ourselves by some condition which preceded the sin.
To rationalize sin is to justify oneself, protecting and holding onto sin. But to see sin as God does is to repent in brokenness of heart, allowing His forgiveness to cleanse us.
Psalm 51 is a great example of rightly humbling ourselves before the Lord. Where did David begin in his confession? He began with God. His confession showed great faith in God’s character: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions” (v. 1). He trusted in God’s power to forgive sin–to blot it out and wash the sinner clean. Hyssop symbolized ritual cleansing under the Law (v. 7). The king’s confession also demonstrated spiritual brokenness. He understood how much he offended God; in fact, he couldn’t forget it. He grieved deeply over what he’d done–it was as though his bones had been crushed. He acknowledged the justice of God’s punishment, which is no light statement considering that the penalty of his sin was the death of his baby son (v. 4). He also acknowledged his general sinful condition (v. 5).
Which of David’s attitudes did you find most convicting? Why? How can you apply these biblical truths to your life today?