Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Psalm 51:2-3
Today’s reading is one of self-examination. Psalm 51 was written by King David after the prophet Nathan had gone to him, after his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba. David had committed a great sin in the eyes of the Lord. In his desires to fulfil the “lust of his flesh”, he had broken at least five of God’s Ten Commandments.
Hence, this psalm is a profoundly personal prayer of confession, self-examination and a cry for forgiveness. We can all identify with David here. Maybe not with what he did, but with his sense and need for forgiveness.
The Bible says “All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.” Isaiah 53:6.
David had not fooled anyone, not even himself. He knew that what he did was wrong in God’s eyes and his own eyes. He knew that his disobedience and sin had hurt God’s heart and broken his relationship with God. Accordingly, his spirit and his heart were broken to the point of contrition. In the spirit of repentance, he asked God to “Create in him a clean heart and to renew a right spirit within his soul.”
Are you feed up of feeling unclean? Are you trying your best to look good by doing good things, in an attempt to cover your tracks or wash yourself clean. We need to come to God in genuine repentance and open ourselves up to Him at the deepest dimension of our lives because He is the only one who can clean.