Psalm 51 – The Sinner’s Psalm DAY 11

Scripture Reading: “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.” (Psalm 51:5-6)

David was dumbfounded over how he, whom God had exalted so high and to whom God had given so much, could sink so low as to perpetrate such horrid sins against God. However, he found the frightening explanation to his bewilderment over his sin in the doctrine of original sin.

David discovered, as all men must, that his real problem was not so much what he did—sinned—but what he was—a sinner. It wasn’t so much the evil he perpetrated in his life, but the natural proclivity for evil that was found in his heart. Contrary to popular opinion, man’s real problem is not so much the wrong things he does, but the fact that he does wrong things because something is horribly wrong with him.

According to the Apostle Paul, the law not only left us inexcusably guilty before God, but it also brought to us “the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:19-20). It not only let us know about “sins,” what is right and wrong according to God’s standard, but it also let us know about “sin,” that there is something horribly wrong with us. No matter how hard we try we can never live up to God’s standard, we always come short (Romans 3:23). Therefore, our real problem is not the things we do, but the fact that in and of ourselves we can do no better. It’s not so much that we sin, but that we are sinners, which explains why the Apostle Paul equated Christ saving us from our sins as synonymous with Christ saving us from ourselves (2 Corinthians 5:15 NIV).

According to David, God “desires” (requires) all men to discover and admit this most unflattering “truth” about themselves in their “inward parts.” We must be convinced of it in our own hearts, where the indisputable evidence of it is to be found. It is only when we are willing to swallow our pride and humbly admit our desperate need of Christ to save us from ourselves that we will begin to “know wisdom.”

“I see the crowd in Pilate’s hall,

I mark their wrathful mien;

Their shouts of “Crucify” appall,

With blasphemy between.

And of that shouting multitude,

I feel that I am one;

And in that din of voices rude,

I recognize my own.

Twas I that shed the sacred blood,

I nailed Him to the tree,

I crucified the Christ of God,

I joined the mockery.

Around the cross the throng I see

Mocking the Sufferer’s groan;

Yet still my voice it seems to be

As if I mocked alone.” (Horatius Bonar)