When You are Quilty of Everything and You Know It

Reading with the Pastor
Mark 16  and  Psalm 51

Dirt image.jpeg

Psalm 51 is one of the clearest and best examples of a “penitential psalm” in all of literature.  David cries out to God in repentance asking for forgiveness for his grievous sins of lust, arrogance, pride, adultery, conspiracy to commit murder, and murder. He knows he has broken all of the commandments of God and now he is crawling back to God and looking for forgiveness and restoration.

It describes a time where David feels like dirt, like the worst, smelliest, most rotten filthy dirt that ever existed. All in all, a horrible place to be.

Maybe you have been there. Maybe you have been to that place where you know that the whitewashed veneer of your self-righteousness has been exposed and you can no longer pretend that you are anything close to what your friends think you are. You just found out that you are not what you think you are.

And yet, you don’t care. You don’t care that others know because you are so taken aback and shocked at what you see in the darker crevasses of your spirit.

What you want is rescue. Rescue from yourself. Rescue from your past. Rescue from punishment.

That’s where David was when he wrote this psalm.

If your heart turns to God like David did there is great hope. If you run and hide there is only destruction (cf. Hebrews 10:36-38). The dirt of our lives can be cleansed but only when we run to the One whose lovingkindness is able to blot it out (cf. Psalm 51:1-2).

Some years ago, I wrote this reflection on Psalm 51 “Repulsed by a Look Within”. 

I hope it is an encouragement to you.


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