“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.”
David makes reference to the fact that he was born into sin. He realizes that his sin is not just a mistake that he made but a consequence of his very nature. The bible teaches that sin was passed down to us from Adam and has affected all of us making all of us sinners. Reforms are good and necessary both individually and nationally but these reforms cannot change our nature. We can become better husbands, fathers, neighbors and citizens but until we are born again we still have a nature that is unredeemed and we will be forbidden access to heaven.
Jesus came not to reform us but to transform us. He took our sins on the cross and offers us his perfect nature when we place our trust in Him. Because of our spiritual condition we must be born again in order to have a new nature and be fit for eternity.
I find it interesting that while David understood his sin nature he did not use it as an excuse for his sinful behavior. He realized that he was guilty before God for his actions and responsible to make amends for how he wronged others. Today it is very popular to blame our actions on everyone or anything. If I misbehave it is not my fault and I shouldn’t be held responsible because I am Irish, I had a bad night sleep, didn’t get my coffee, have an unreasonable boss, didn’t have a father figure in my life… It seems like the excuses today are getting stranger and stranger while the way we wrong each other is getting worse and worse. As a believer in Christ it is important to realize that we sin because it is in our nature, but that does not excuse our behavior. We must take responsibility for our mistakes, seek the forgiveness found in Christ and seek to to make amends with those whom we have wronged.
- Verse 1 gives us some background of what was going on in David’s life before this Psalm was written. Read 2Samuel chapters 11 and 12 for the context of this prayer.
- Psalm 51 is known as one of the “repentance” psalms. The whole tone is of one who is aware of his own sinfulness and is pleading for mercy. Count the number of times that David mentions the words sin, iniquity, transgression, or guilt (or any variations of these words). Are you aware of your own sin before God?
- Count how many things David asks God to do for him. Does David tell God that he will change or does he ask God to change Him?
- According to verse 4, ultimately who does our sin hurt?
- Read verse 12-15. When God begins to work change in David’s heart, what does David believe will happen in his life?
- According to verses 16 and 17, what is God looking for from us?