Psalm 51 – The Sinner’s Psalm Day 1

Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 11-12

Many people point to the book of Psalms as their favorite book of the Bible. This is certainly understandable. The psalmists are bone of our bones and flesh of our flesh. We sympathize with their struggles and feel they are akin to us in ours. The human emotions the Psalms throb with are the daily pulsations we experience on this roller coaster ride called life. Like the psalmists, we too have ridden to the mountaintop on the wings of overcoming faith only to quickly plummet again into doubt’s dark valley in what we perceive to be the runaway mine cart of debilitating circumstances.

Psalm 51 is certainly a pinnacle among the Psalms. It is a distinct and lofty peak among this scriptural mountain range of divinely inspired summits. It was written by King David after he was confronted with his sins by the courageous prophet of God. Nathan, God’s lionhearted preacher, dared to indict the mighty king with these accusatory words, “Thou art the man!” Rather than reprimanding the prophet for addressing him in such a disrespectful manner, the king fell prey to brokenhearted penitence. This magnificent psalm contains David’s prayer of confession and plea for God’s forgiveness. Prepare yourself for a deep dive into the depths of a penitent soul.

“I may truly call this book an anatomy of all parts of the soul, for no one can feel a movement of the spirit which is not reflected in this mirror. All the sorrows, troubles, fears, doubts, hopes, pains, perplexities and stormy outbreaks by which the hearts of men are tossed have been depicted here to the very life.” (John Calvin, on the Book of Psalms)