Have mercy on me, O God,Psalm 51: 1-2
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
Over the years I’ve encountered a few people who have challenged me on the angry God of the Old Testament compared to the kind words of Jesus in the New Testament. Consider the words of one who could have received the harshest treatment under the law – King David.
David broke nearly all of the ten commandments when he coveted another man’s wife, committed adultery with her, attempted to cover up his actions, and eventually order the murder of the woman’s husband. Do you think he was honoring his parents with his actions? Envy? Lies? Did he honor God?
Yet he wrote about the compassionate forgiveness found through God. David knew what it meant to be restored in his relationship with God.
I see two things in the opening verses of David’s psalm of repentance:
- It was an important step to see actions for what they were.He faced the reality of his failure as he referred to his transgressions, iniquity and sin. There was no sugarcoating of the problem.
- David recognized his complete dependence on God’s steadfast love, abundant mercy to cleanse him.
Maybe you’re in need of some genuine hope. Remember these words:
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness/’Lamentations 3: 22-23)