Repentance and Forgiveness
Psalm 51:1-8
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving kindness…

Some deny the Davidic origin of this psalm; but most refer it to the time when Nathan charged David with the sins of adultery and murder. In these verses we have set forth the nature of forgiveness, and the nature of repentance.


1. Forgiveness is the inward and outward cleansing from sin. It is blotting out a record or a debt that is against us - that is, the outward cleansing. And it is a washing, or cleansing, or purging-that is, the inward forgiveness, or the taking away of sin. So that it is a double work.

2. When we become conscious of such forgiveness, we rejoice with a great gladness. (Ver. 8.) The strength (bones) which sin has broken is restored and rejoices.


1. It is a trust in the Divine goodness and mercy. (Ver. 1.) Sorrow for sin without hope in God is remorse and death - not repentance.

2. A consciousness that our sin is more against God than against man. (Ver. 4.) "Inasmuch as ye did it against one of the least of these," etc.

3. An acknowledgment of the Divine righteousness in the punishment he has suffered. (Ver. 21.)

4. He not only confesses the sinful deed, but traces it to the inheritance of a nature sinfully inclined. (Ver. 5.)

5. He prays for inward truthfulness and wisdom as his only safety for the future (ver. 6). - S.

Parallel Verses
KJV: {To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.} Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

WEB: Have mercy on me, God, according to your loving kindness. According to the multitude of your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.

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