“Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” Psalm 51:1-2
When King David wrote Psalm 51, it was right after his sin of adultery had been exposed. The King had gone to great lengths to conceal his sin, which led to even more sin – including murder. It is interesting that the first thing David asks God to do is not to forgive him, but to wash and cleanse him. He wanted a “sin shower” to cleanse him from the filth of all he had done. Because David was the King of Israel, he would have always looked pristine and pure on the outside. Long flowing robes, the best sandals that money could buy, jewelry, and a crown that sparkled brightly would have been standard for him. Always freshly bathed, cleaned, and perfumed on the outside…but on the inside he felt filthy. That is what sin does.
David felt dirty for a good reason. Sin is dirty and filthy and it makes us dirty and filthy if it is concealed and left unattended. One of the biggest differences between someone who is a member of God’s family and someone who is not is how they see and react to sin. Anyone who doesn’t know God feels the freedom of sin. Anyone who does know God through a relationship with Jesus feels the filth of sin. It affects us emotionally. It may feel good while you are sinning, but if you know God you won’t feel good after you have sinned.
Both Christians and non-Christians sin. When God comes into our lives He does not “fix” us so that we will never sin again. He does, however, fix us so that we should not want to sin again; and when we do, we will not enjoy it like before. In Psalm 51:1-2 we see how much King David wants to come clean. He uses different phrases to emphasize this desire for purity, like “blot out my transgressions,” and “wash away all of my iniquity.” David doesn’t just want to be dusted off; he wants to be wiped down completely. He wants a clean slate. He doesn’t want a speck of dirt left on his soul.
David’s emotional response to his own sin illustrates the depths to which sin defiles the soul. God has provided a way for us to be clean before Him through Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. When we try to conceal our sin, all we end of doing is robbing ourselves of the freedom that Jesus died to give us.
Application: Are you trying to hide your sin, allowing it to defile your soul? If so, spend some time in prayer, confessing your sin to God so that you can be cleansed.