Wash Away My Transgressions


"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin." - Psalm 51:1-2

A marvelous understanding of the nature of sin and the character of God's forgiveness is found in these verses! There are three things David asks for here. First, he understands that sin is like a crime. If criminals are to be delivered from the effects of their crime, they do not need justice but rather mercy. Sin is an illegal act, a violation of justice, and an act of lawlessness and rebellion against God, and therefore requires mercy from Him.

Then he says, "Blot out my transgressions," and thereby he reveals that he understands sin is like a debt. It is something owed, an account that has accumulated and needs to be repaid -- erased.

Finally he cries, "Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin." He understands that sin is like an ugly stain, a defilement upon the soul. Even though the act fades into the past, the dirty stain remains a stigma upon the heart. So he cries out and asks to be delivered from such things.

Notice that David understands well the need for forgiveness. He asks on the basis of two things: first, "according to your unfailing love." He understands that he himself deserves nothing from God, that God is not bound to forgive him. Some people are never able to realize forgiveness because they think they deserve it, that God owes it to them. But David knows better. He realizes that only because of God's love may he even approach God to ask. On the basis of that unqualified acceptance, that marvelous continuing agape love, he says to God, "I am coming to you and asking now for this."

Second, as David appeals to God "according to your great compassion," he again indicates his understanding of the character of God. God is not a penny pincher; He does not dole out bits of mercy, drop by drop. Instead, He pours it out, lavishly. His are abundant mercies. When God forgives, He forgives beyond our imagination. What relief comes when we begin to understand this fullness of God's forgiveness.

God's Word teaches us the true nature of sin, as well as the amazing nature of God's forgiveness. As you continue your Lenten journey, are you ready to live in such a way that you are able to receive the lavishing love, forgiveness and mercy of God? I hope that you are!

God's strength be with you as you learn these truths and begin to live in the blessings of the Lord!

Father, thank You that I can come to You with my sin and cry out for mercy, forgiveness and love. Your love is steadfast; your mercy is abundant. I trust that You are always willing to forgive. Amen.
Jul 21 2018