Psalms 51* The psalmist prays for mercy, humbly confessing and lamentinghis sins. (1-6) He pleads for pardon, that he may promote theglory of God and the conversion of sinners. (7-15) God ispleased with a contrite heart, A prayer for the prosperity ofZion. (16-19)1-6 David, being convinced of his sin, poured out his soul toGod in prayer for mercy and grace. Whither should backslidingchildren return, but to the Lord their God, who alone can healthem? he drew up, by Divine teaching, an account of the workingsof his heart toward God. Those that truly repent of their sins,will not be ashamed to own their repentance. Also, he instructsothers what to do, and what to say. David had not only donemuch, but suffered much in the cause of God; yet he flees toGod's infinite mercy, and depends upon that alone for pardon andpeace. He begs the pardon of sin. The blood of Christ, sprinkledupon the conscience, blots out the transgression, and, havingreconciled us to God, reconciles us to ourselves. The believerlongs to have the whole debt of his sins blotted out, and everystain cleansed; he would be thoroughly washed from all his sins;but the hypocrite always has some secret reserve, and would havesome favorite lust spared. David had such a deep sense of hissin, that he was continually thinking of it, with sorrow andshame. His sin was committed against God, whose truth we deny bywilful sin; with him we deal deceitfully. And the truly penitentwill ever trace back the streams of actual sin to the fountainof original depravity. He confesses his original corruption.This is that foolishness which is bound in the heart of a child,that proneness to evil, and that backwardness to good, which isthe burden of the regenerate, and the ruin of the unregenerate.He is encouraged, in his repentance, to hope that God wouldgraciously accept him. Thou desirest truth in the inward part;to this God looks, in a returning sinner. Where there is truth,God will give wisdom. Those who sincerely endeavour to do theirduty shall be taught their duty; but they will expect good onlyfrom Divine grace overcoming their corrupt nature. 7-15 Purge me with hyssop, with the blood of Christ applied tomy soul by a lively faith, as the water of purification wassprinkled with a bunch of hyssop. The blood of Christ is calledthe blood of sprinkling, #Heb 12:24|. If this blood of Christ,which cleanses from all sin, cleanse us from our sin, then weshall be clean indeed, #Heb 10:2|. He asks not to be comforted,till he is first cleansed; if sin, the bitter root of sorrow, betaken away, he can pray in faith, Let me have a well-groundedpeace, of thy creating, so that the bones broken by convictionsmay rejoice, may be comforted. Hide thy face from my sins; blotout all mine iniquities out of thy book; blot them out, as acloud is blotted out and dispelled by the beams of the sun. Andthe believer desires renewal to holiness as much as the joy ofsalvation. David now saw, more than ever, what an unclean hearthe had, and sadly laments it; but he sees it is not in his ownpower to amend it, and therefore begs God would create in him aclean heart. When the sinner feels this change is necessary, andreads the promise of God to that purpose, he begins to ask it.He knew he had by his sin grieved the Holy Spirit, and provokedhim to withdraw. This he dreads more than anything. He praysthat Divine comforts may be restored to him. When we giveourselves cause to doubt our interest in salvation, how can weexpect the joy of it? This had made him weak; he prays, I amready to fall, either into sin or into despair, therefore upholdme with thy Spirit. Thy Spirit is a free Spirit, a free Agenthimself, working freely. And the more cheerful we are in ourduty, the more constant we shall be to it. What is this but theliberty wherewith Christ makes his people free, which iscontrasted with the yoke of bondage? #Ga 5:1|. It is the Spiritof adoption spoken to the heart. Those to whom God is the God ofsalvation, he will deliver from guilt; for the salvation he isthe God of, is salvation from sin. We may therefore plead withhim, Lord, thou art the God of my salvation, therefore deliverme from the dominion of sin. And when the lips are opened, whatshould they speak but the praises of God for his forgivingmercy? 16-19 Those who are thoroughly convinced of their misery anddanger by sin, would spare no cost to obtain the remission ofit. But as they cannot make satisfaction for sin, so God cannottake any satisfaction in them, otherwise than as expressing loveand duty to him. The good work wrought in every true penitent,is a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, and sorrowfor sin. It is a heart that is tender, and pliable to God'sword. Oh that there were such a heart in every one of us! God isgraciously pleased to accept this; it is instead of allburnt-offering and sacrifice. The broken heart is acceptable toGod only through Jesus Christ; there is no true repentancewithout faith in him. Men despise that which is broken, but Godwill not. He will not overlook it, he will not refuse or rejectit; though it makes God no satisfaction for the wrong done tohim by sin. Those who have been in spiritual troubles, know howto pity and pray for others afflicted in like manner. David wasafraid lest his sin should bring judgements upon the city andkingdom. No personal fears or troubles of conscience can makethe soul, which has received grace, careless about the interestsof the church of God. And let this be the continued joy of allthe redeemed, that they have redemption through the blood ofChrist, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of hisgrace
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