John Barnett Discover the Book Daily Devotional
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Discover the Book - July 3, 2007

  • 2007 Jul 03

David: Coming Back to God


Part 2 continued from July 2nd





So as we read, get those two truths firmly planted in your mind.


All sin is against God.

Take personal responsibility for sin.


Read Psalm 51 and pray.


Psalm 51 was designed primarily for public reading and worship. It was part of the regular songs of the Tabernacle and then Temple and now the church. The structuring like this was intended for effective communication in public assembly and worship. Note the emphasis and how it changes.


David’s responsibility for sin is emphasized in the first half. Sin and sinner occur eight times and God by Name is not mentioned one time in vv. 3-9.


Psalm 51:3-9 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions (1), And my sin (2) is always before me. 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned (3), And done this evil (4) in Your sight—That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity (5), And in sin (6) 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 (7), And blot out all my iniquities (8).


The Holy God against whom David sinned is emphasized in the second half. But sin and sinner are only mentioned one time and God twenty times in vv. 10-19.


Psalm 51:10-19 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God (1), And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence (2), And do not take Your Holy Spirit (3) from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation (4), And uphold me by Your generous Spirit (5). 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways (6), And sinners* shall be converted to You (7). 14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God (8), The God of my salvation (9), And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness (10). 15 O Lord (11), open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise (12). 16 For You (13) do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You (14) do not delight in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God (15) are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart—These, O God (16), You (17) will not despise. 18 Do good in Your good pleasure (18) to Zion; Build the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then You shall be pleased (19) with the sacrifices of righteousness, With burnt offering and whole burnt offering; Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar (20).


How do we get back on the track?

How do we come back to God?


God's Word gives us a pathway, we can follow David. When you have been defeated by sin, David is inspired of God to tell us four steps we can take to come back to God.


#1 Understand that all Sin is Against God. (Psalm 51:1-4)


  • The Lord can RENEW OUR RELATIONSHIP v. 1
  • The Lord can WASH US CLEAN v. 2
  • The Lord can REMOVE THE ROADBLOCK v. 3
  • The Lord can UTTERLY FORGIVE v. 4


#2 Take Personal Responsibility for your Sin. (Psalm 51:5-9)


  • As Sinners we show our nature, our choice and confirm God's declaration. v. 5
  • As Sinners we need truthfulness v. 6
  • As sinners we need cleansing v. 7
  • As sinners we need joyfulness v. 8
  • As sinners we need fellowship with our God v. 9


#3 Believe that Only God can cleanse and restore us. (Psalm 51:10-13)


  • God is washing our hearts v. 10 [Heb 9.14; 10.22]
  • God is restoring our walk in the Spirit v. 11
  • God is renewing the fruit of the Spirit v. 12
  • God is preparing us for further ministry v. 13


#4 Seek God and repent. (Psalm 51:14-19)


  • Call sin what it is v. 14 (David murdered Uriah)
  • Talk to God v. 15 (Psalm 32 David had dried up spiritually)
  • Experience true contrition not mere externalism v. 16-17
  • Begin zealous worship anew and afresh v. 18-19


Now let’s begin an in depth look at each of these four sections. First we need to--


Understand that all Sin is Against God. (Psalm 51:1-4)


David starts this first section by saying—


I Am Guilty Psalm 51:1 David begins at quite a different reference point from that of modern psychotherapists or the social workers today. They usually begin with “our inner experience. They invite us to try to face up to our moral problems, to recognize how our misdeeds affect society for the worse or how we have even broken society’s laws”.[1]


But David sweeps beyond all these human and moral considerations and looks straight at the Almighty and Holy God he had sinned against.


o       By confessing that he was guilty, David was coming back to God who alone can RENEW OUR RELATIONSHIP broken by sin. v. 1 Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your loving kindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.


David appealed to God’s love and compassion as he petitioned the Lord to forgive him by grace and cleanse him from sin. Mercy is to not get what we deserve and grace is to get what we don’t deserve. Mercy withholds, grace outpours.


God’s attributes of unfailing love (chesed) for His servant and His compassion for the helpless, were the basis for David’s appeal for mercy. Even the verb have mercy was a prayer for God to act in accord with His nature. It is also a recognition that David did not deserve forgiveness. God’s forgiveness is by His grace alone. [2]


If you want swift, immediate and relationship restoring help from God, start with that simple guilty plea. If you want to see a David type of response to God in the NT open with me to Luke 18:9-14.


Do you know what God just can’t resist? This type of heart cry to Him. The Greek tenses tell us that the publican couldn’t stop saying this, he was an ongoing longing on his heart.


Luke 18:13 “And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, [kept on present active participle] saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’


Like the publican who wouldn’t even lift his face towards God but just said God be merciful to me, we can also come back to God.


A hymn writer once wrote what David must have felt as he responded to God’s heavy hand of chastisement and conviction and repented of his sin and came back to God.


Lord, I’m Coming Home (1898) #341

William Kirkpatrick (1838-1921)


I’ve wandered far away from God, Now I’m coming home;
The paths of sin too long I’ve trod, Lord, I’m coming home.


I’ve wasted many precious years, Now I’m coming home;
I now repent with bitter tears, Lord, I’m coming home.


I’m tired of sin and straying, Lord, Now I’m coming home;
I’ll trust Thy love, believe Thy Word, Lord, I’m coming home.


My soul is sick, my heart is sore, Now I’m coming home;
My strength renew, my hope restore, Lord, I’m coming home.


I need His cleansing blood, I know, Now I’m coming home;
O wash me whiter than the snow, Lord, I’m coming home.




Coming home, coming home, Nevermore to roam,
Open wide Thine arms of love, Lord, I’m coming home.


This morning, if you have ever felt far away from God—you can come back to God just like David.


If you have ever sinned deeply and paid a heavy price— you can come back to God just like David.


If you are here this morning in body only, and your heart like David’s had been, is cold, dull, burdened, and distant— you can come back to God just like David.






[1] Knight, George A. F., Daily Study Bible Series: Psalms, Volume 1, (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press) 2001, c1984.

[2] Walvoord, John F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc.) 1983, 1985.

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