God’s Saving Word: Love
Psalm 51: Today’s reading is a psalm asking for God’s forgiveness, and it is attributed to King David. After David had arranged to have Uriah killed in battle so that he could marry Bathsheba, who was pregnant with David’s child, the prophet Nathan confronted David with his sin (see 2 Samuel 11:1—12:15).
A Prayer for Forgiveness
51 Be merciful to me, O God,
because of your constant love.
Because of your great mercy
wipe away my sins!
2 Wash away all my evil
and make me clean from my sin!
3 I recognize my faults;
I am always conscious of my sins.
4 I have sinned against you—only against you—
and done what you consider evil.
So you are right in judging me;
you are justified in condemning me.
5 I have been evil from the day I was born;
from the time I was conceived, I have been sinful.
6 Sincerity and truth are what you require;
fill my mind with your wisdom.
7 Remove my sin, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness;
and though you have crushed me and broken me,
I will be happy once again.
9 Close your eyes to my sins
and wipe out all my evil.
10 Create a pure heart in me, O God,
and put a new and loyal spirit in me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence;
do not take your holy spirit away from me.
12 Give me again the joy that comes from your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
13 Then I will teach sinners your commands,
and they will turn back to you.
14 Spare my life, O God, and save me,
and I will gladly proclaim your righteousness.
15 Help me to speak, Lord,
and I will praise you.
16 You do not want sacrifices,
or I would offer them;
you are not pleased with burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O God;
you will not reject a humble and repentant heart.
18 O God, be kind to Zion and help her;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will be pleased with proper sacrifices
and with our burnt offerings;
and bulls will be sacrificed on your altar.
Today’s Key Verse: Psalm 51:1
Be merciful to me, O God, because of your constant love. Because of your great mercy wipe away my sins!
How would you describe the tone of David’s prayer? What does he confess? What does he ask of God? How might this prayer serve as a model of confession for you? What do you need to confess to God today?
Be merciful to me, O God, because of your constant love, and wipe away all my sins. Create a pure heart in me and put a new and loyal spirit in me. Keep me forever in your presence so that I may know the joy that comes from you and your salvation. Teach me to obey you. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
And now, join us in praying for the many widows in India who are struggling with the emotional turmoil of losing their husbands. Gracious God, the widows in India are experiencing grief that is compounded by loneliness and social rejection from others. But thanks to the support from Bible-A-Month Partners in helping these women to acquire their own Bibles, they are finding healing and strength from your Word as they gather to comfort one another and read Scripture together. Amen.
Psalm 52: A psalm of judgment and God’s grace.