First Sunday of Lent (Feb 18th)

Pastor's Summary of Psalm 51:1-17

Per the superscription, this psalm was written after Nathan had brought David to admit his guilt regarding Bathsheba, so when it speaks of rebuilding Jerusalem (v. 18) this may be a reference to public fence-mending David did then. The emphasis is on an individual's sin and prayers for personal pardon and restoration. the psalmist seeks cleansing from "iniquity (v. 2) and "sins" (v. 9) He was sinful even before his birth (v. 5). In v. 6, he knows that God will seek truth in his very being; this is where he will recive understanding ("wisdon"). Perhaps v. 8b says he is ill--because of his sin. He even asks God to hide his "face from my sins" (v. 9), to be so gracious and compassionate as to turn a blind eye. May God restore him, bring him back to godliness, give him a clear conscience, a "clean heart" (v. 10) and a "new...spirit". Only God can purify. May God give him joy and sutenance, through his "holy spirit" (v. 11). Restored, he will proclaim God's ways, for God wishes inner godliness, not sacrifice. (vv. 13-17).