I like to think that David felt the same way when He wrote this psalm. For a little bit of context, google David and Bathsheba, if you don’t already know the story. Oh, and change the concept of adultery for that of rape – Bathsheba wasn’t exactly in a position to say no to a king. So you could say that David most definitely slipped up. This psalm is basically him pleading with God for forgiveness and accepting that he has sinned before God. There is even a sense that he can’t quite forgive himself, “my sin ever before me”, which I can completely understand. Yet there is still this overriding but subtle acknowledgement that God has not abandoned David but still has more to teach him.
Yes, you heard that right. David knows God has not abandoned him in the midst of his sin. I can’t quite find the words to describe just how in awe I am of God’s ability to forgive continuously. It’s not even that He forgives but keeps David at arm’s length! He forgives David and continues to teach him wisdom! If God can do that for David after he commited adultery/rape (depending on how you interpret the cultural context), then I can come before Him for forgiveness. He won’t keep me at a distance for fear I might infect Him with sin. No! When God forgives, we are brought into His presence and taught wisdom.
Just let it sink in.
God forgives those who seek His forgiveness.
God teaches those who seek His forgiveness.
God wants to forgive you!
He is a just God who is justified in His words, who delights in truth, and teaches wisdom. If we acknowledge our sin before Him, we can seek forgiveness.
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
and cleanse me from my sin.*