Date written: January 20th, 2007
Scripture ref: Psalm 51:1-19
TITLE: David's Penitent Heart
PROPOSITION: David's penitent heart was a heart that 1) Acknowledged his sin, 2) Appealed for forgiveness, and 3) Adjusted his attitude.
OBJECTIVE: To understand the penitent heart so that we can know how to repent of our sins also.
1. Read: Psalm 51:1-19
2. About the Text:
1) The background of this Psalm is David's sin with Bathsheba.
2) We know the story.
a. David committed adultery with Bathsheba.
b. She got pregnant.
c. David couldn't seduce Uriah to sleep with her, so he had Uriah killed in battle.
d. Several months later, Nathan the prophet came to David with the story of the stolen sheep.
e. He said, "Thou art the man."
3) This psalm was penned after David realized the gravity of his sin.
4) It reflects genuine repentance in the heart of David.
5) It teaches us valuable lessons about repentance also.
3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
DISCUSSION: David's heart was a heart that . . .
I. Acknowledged His Sin (Psalm 51:1-6)
1. David begins with an acknowledgment and request for mercy and forgiveness (verses 1-2).
1) Our forgiveness depends upon God's mercy and lovingkindness.
2) Psalm 103:10-11 states, "He hath not dealt with us after our sins, Nor rewarded us after our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is his lovingkindness toward them that fear him."
3) I'm reminded of Jesus story of the publican that smote his breast and said, "God be merciful to me, a sinner" (Luke 18:13).
4) God's mercy and love will always precede forgiveness of our sin.
5) Let us humbly acknowledge that fact!
2. David then moves into acknowledgement of his sin (verses 3-5).
1) He acknowledges this with his intellect (verse 3).
a. He says, "I know my transgressions."
b. To be forgiven of sin, we must first know that we have sinned.
c. John leaves us no doubt. 1 John 1:8, 10.
2) He acknowledges this with his spirit (verse 4).
a. He says to God, "Against thee, thee only, have I sinned...."
b. When we sin, it is our spiritual relationship with God that is hurt.
c. Isaiah 59:1-2 "Behold, Jehovah's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, so that he will not hear."
3) He acknowledges this with his emotion (verse 5).
a. Sin also affects our emotions.
b. We feel guilt, regret, remorse, pain, sadness, anger, and other emotions.
c. David expressed how deeply he felt these emotions with hyperbole.
d. Sin is sin because it hurts; it hurts God; it hurts others; it hurts ourselves.
3. David then briefly acknowledges the remedy for sin (verse 6).
1) God wants truth and wisdom in our hearts.
2) Why? Because knowing and understanding truth will prevent us from sinning.
3) Psalm 119:11 "Thy word have I laid up in my heart, That I might not sin against thee."
4) Jesus answered Satan three times, "It is written."
II. Appealed for Forgiveness (Psalm 51:7-13)
1. David asks to be washed (verse 7).
1) Under the Mosaic Law hyssop was used with blood on the Day of Atonement.
2) Ceremonial washings were also required for ritual cleansing under the law.
3) David metaphorically calls upon these things in His prayer as symbolic of forgiveness.
4) Today, the blood of Christ atones for us through the washing of baptism (Matthew 26:28 and Acts 2:38).
2. David asks to hear joy and gladness (verse 8).
1) Joy is the proper response from knowing that God has forgiven.
2) The Ethiopian nobleman went on his way rejoicing (Acts 8:39).
3. David asks God to blot out his sin and not look on them (verse 9).
1) David wants God to turn away from remembering his sins.
2) This implies that God remembers our sin.
3) Unless we repent of it, it will remain written.
4) Repentance and confession will result in God's removal of our sins.
4. David asks for a clean heart (verse 10).
1) He wants a heart that is no longer burdened by the guilt of sin.
2) He wants a heart that will be counted as righteous before God.
5. David asks for God's continued presence (verse 11).
1) One consequence of sin is God's abandoning the sinner.
2) Micah 3:4 "Then shall they cry unto Jehovah, but he will not answer them; yea, he will hide his face from them at that time, according as they have wrought evil in their doings."
6. David asks for salvation from his sin (verse 12).
1) It is that from which we need to be saved. Isaiah 59:2.
2) 1 Timothy 1:15 "Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief:"
7. David commits to converting sinners (verse 13).
1) David's penitence is not in word only.
2) Acts 26:20 "but declared both to them of Damascus first and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judaea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance."
III. Adjusted his Attitude (Psalm 51:14-19)
1. His promise to praise (verses 14-15).
1) Conditioned upon his deliverance.
a. The penalty for David's adultery was death.
b. But the Lord did not require David's life (2 Samuel 12:13).
2) David had reason to sing and praise.
a. So do we all.
b. Hebrews 13:15 "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."
2. His promise to give true sacrifices (verse 16-17).
1) Physical sacrifices were not what God truly desired.
a. Hosea 6:6 "For I desire goodness, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings."
b. Hebrews 10:4 "For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins."
2) God desires the sacrifice of a broken spirit and contrite heart.
a. Isaiah 57:15 "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite."
b. Micah 6:8 "He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God?"
3. David intercedes for the nation (verse 18).
1) The king's sin affected the nation.
a. God told David that the nation would be divided because of his sin. 2 Samuel 12:11-12 "Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house; and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbor, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun."
b. David's sin lead to armed conflict with his son, Absalom.
2) Our sins are not without consequences.
4. David confesses the proper place of sacrifices (verse 19).
1) It is after the heart has been made right.
2) John 4:24
1. David's heart was a heart that . . .
1) Acknowledged his sin.
2) Appealed for forgiveness.
3) Adjusted his attitude.