Day 11 - Hearts of Repentance
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. (Psalm 51:1-7)
God is merciful to sinners, and forgives sin when we repent. Psalm 51 says that God is full of “unfailing love”, “great compassion”, even though it also says we sinned against Him, and have “done what is evil in [His] sight”. Worship the God who forgives our sin, and does not hold it against us.
Psalm 51 was written by David after he committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband, Uriah, killed in battle. Realising the extent of his sin against God, he penned this psalm of repentance. Sin is a serious matter, not because of what we have done, but Whom we have gone against. Sin is ultimately, an attack on God, our perfect judge.
But even in his guilt, David knows that God is merciful. From passages like Exodus 34:6-7 and elsewhere, David knows that God forgives the guilty, including himself! He asks to be cleansed with hyssop, which was used by priests to sprinkle blood on a house that had a disease in it to declare it clean. David acknowledges that God can pronounce him clean. For us, God has provided the blood of Jesus Christ shed for us to make us clean. Like David, if we confess our sins and repent, God will forgive us through Christ (1 Jn 1:9).
- Do we view our sins as going against God Himself? Are we unrepentant in spirit?
- How have we been made clean through Christ? Is your conscience clear before Him?
Father, we have sinned In word, and deed, and thought through ignorance, through weakness and through deliberate fault. We've sinned against our neighbours and against You, Lord. Yet we are truly sorry and we turn to You once more1. In Christ’s name, Amen.
- A repentant spirit in the church as we humble ourselves before God.
- God to have mercy on a world reeling out of control in sinfulness and rebellion.
- The parents of GBC, that they will raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
1 Prayer adapted from “Repentance Hymn” by Stuart Townend.