How bitterly David lamented his great sin may be seen by the penitential psalms which he composed. Among the most memorable of these is—Psalm 51.
It has been often called The Sinner’s Guide.
He appealed to the sweeter attributes. Penitence has a quick eye for the loving and merciful qualities in the divine character. Let us appeal to them.
He could not bear to be defiled, he longed for complete pardon.
The essence of sin lies in its opposition to God, and its impudent defiance of his holy presence. David had wronged Bathsheba and Uriah, but his greatest misery was that he had offended his God. Graceless men care nothing about this.
His outward act of evil led him to look within, and there he found his inmost nature and his first original to be impure. When our falls lead us to discover and mourn over our inbred sins, we are on the sure way to recovery from them.
This is a glorious utterance of faith. The humbled soul, while mourning in the dust, yet confides in the blood of sprinkling, and believes that it can remove all stain. Foul as I am yet I am not too filthy for the precious blood of atonement! All manner of sin and of blasphemy the blood of Jesus can remove.
Sin destroys, and therefore grace must re-create. Sincere penitents are not content with pardon, they desire to be made holy for the future.
None teach so well as those who know the power of forgiving love by personal experience. Pardoned sinners are the best preachers to their rebellious fellowmen.
Deep experience led David away from mere forms into the spirit of the gospel. A real sense of sin will never allow men to be content with ordinances, they want the Lord himself to be revealed to them in spiritual worship, as accepting their contrite cries.
Thus he would fain undo the mischief he had wrought and build up the church whose walls he had pulled down by his ill example. The Lord grant that his cause and people may never suffer through our fault. Amen.
My soul lies humbled in the dust,
And owns thy dreadful sentence just;
Look down, O Lord, with pitying eye
And save the soul condemn’d to die.
Then will I teach the world thy ways;
Sinners shall learn thy sovereign grace,
I’ll lead them to my Saviour’s blood,
And they shall praise a pardoning God.