Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to your mercy remember you me for your goodness' sake, O LORD.
We have no ground for supposing that the youth of David was sinful in the ordinary sense of the term, that he lived otherwise than "soberly, righteously, and godly"; or that he did not serve God purely, willingly, and lovingly. So far as we know, his offences against God in his youth were but the inevitable faults of his age — shortcomings, indeed, negligences and ignorances, and so things to be deplored and avoided; but there is nothing like any intimation of a vicious youth recorded against him in the Word of God. Nevertheless, there are always undeveloped tendencies towards evil lurking in every youthful heart, and on their encouragement or discouragement the tenor of the future life depends. The presumption is, that David was no longer young when this Psalm was composed. So we have this lesson, that his penitence and sorrow for sin were not things which, being once expressed, were thought of no more, but that they were ever before him, for years and years after his sins were committed. So must it be with those whose early years are stained with the defilements of sin. Either they will go on as they have begun, adding sin to sin, or they must be content to pass the remainder of their days as mourning penitents. As we sow we shall reap. If we have engaged in a course of sin we must be content to have a course of sorrow afterwards. Is a course of indulgence in any sin whatever worth the miseries into which sin inevitably leads? David is said to be a man after God's own heart; but only because, when he fell, he did not continue in sin. He was not a man after God's own heart with his sins, but without them, because of his readiness to cast them from him, and of his life-long, loving, trustful penitence afterwards.
(F. E. Paget.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.