Thursday, August 23, 2018



"Have mercy upon me, O God" Psa. 51:1

This is the fourth of the Penitential Psalms. (The others are 6, 32, 38, 102, 130, 143.) Of the seven it is central, and it is the greatest in spiritual power. The heading gives us the occasion of its writing, and thus we are enabled the more accurately to follow the working of the MIND OF THE SINNER. The whole song is a clear revelation of his consciousness that sin can only be dealt with by God. No plan is urged. From beginning to end the song is prayer, petition following petition. It is the cry of a soul who can have no hope except in the MERCY OF GOD. In it, too, the truth about sin is revealed. The three words are used: TRANSGRESSION, INIQUITY, AND SIN.
  1. The first recognizes sin as definite REBELLION against God, and so involving GUILT.
  2. The second estimates that sin is PERVERSION, and so involving POLLUTION.
  3. The third realizes that sin is FAILURE and so involving RUIN.
The standard by which sin is known is that of the soul's relation to God, and therefore in the last analysis this penitent uttered a tremendous truth when he said: "Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned." Yet again the consciousness of the sinning soul as to its own need is clearly manifested. The penitent sinner asks that sin may be BLOTTED-OUT; that he may be washed, cleansed, made pure, purged with hyssop. The need is for infinitely more than forgiveness, as we are able to extend it to our fellow-men. It is for COMPLETE DELIVERANCE FROM THE POLLUTION OF SIN. This great song, pulsating with the agony of a sin-stricken soul, helps us to understand the stupendous wonder of the everlasting mercy of our God. CALVARY is God's answer; and it is enough.

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