Repentance. This is where you begin a relationship with God. Sincere, heartfelt confession. No one displayed this confession of sin better than king David.
He was a warrior, musician and author of many of the Psalms in the Bible. God hand picked David to be king. He acquired vast territory and possessions. He was regarded as a righteous king and clearly prospered by the hand of God. So why did king David write Psalm 51 - a Psalm of repentance?
David was about 30 years old when he became king. He died at 70. He served the Lord for 40 years as king. And in those years of great success came great sin.
He knowingly committed adultery. The husband, Uriah, was away at battle. David was walking on the roof of his palace and saw Bathsheba bathing and "she was very beautiful to behold". He slept with her. She became pregnant. David panicked. He arranged for Uriah, to come home from battle to sleep with his wife so it would look like Uriah fathered this child. Uriah, however, had other plans. He wanted to be a good example to his men in the field. So, he restrained from sleeping with his wife. David needed a new plan. He sent Uriah into a battle that he would surely die in. I believe David's exact words were, "Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die." And so Uriah died.
Sin is no different today. Turn on the TV, listen to the radio, open a newspaper and you will see those same sins today. I write all this to tell you, it really doesn't matter what your sins are. Sin is sin and the Lord doesn't "rate" sins from "bad to worse".
It's all the same to Him. What does matter to Him is your repentance. When David was confronted with his sin, Psalm 51 was written. He was broken over it. Crushed. Grieved. You have to come to that place where you too are truly grieved over your sin.
If you ask me today as you struggle with your sins what to read in the Bible or where to begin to get right with God, I would point you to Psalm 51. It is the beginning. It was my beginning. It is Psalm 51 that reminds me of my life and how I too came to fall on my face before the Lord asking for forgiveness.
Please take a minute to read Psalm 51.
Psalm 51 New King James Version (NKJV)
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sightó That You may be found just when You speak,[a] And blameless when You judge.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. 6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. 9 Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise. 16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heartó These, O God, You will not despise.
18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion; Build the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, With burnt offering and whole burnt offering; Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.