Vs. 1, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.” Most scholars believe David wrote this psalm soon after Nathan had confronted David of his sin with Bathsheba. Before David had been confronted, he attempted to cover his sin up. But it’s also important to note that when Nathan confronted him, David did not lie, but immediately confessed his sin. If there is any chapter in the Bible that shows the high cost of sin…it is this one. If you read this carefully you will see that his sin affected his whole body…his eyes (3), mind (6), ears (8), heart (10), spirit (10), mouth (13-15). He lost fellowship with God (11) and the joy (12) that comes from the Lord.
Regarding application…Examining Sin. I found this very simple but profound illustration by Pastor John Vernon McGee….”Suppose I were holding behind me a stick and I told you it was a crooked stick. How do you think it would look? No two people would think it looked like it really does. No two would agree because it could be crooked in a million different ways. But suppose I say that I hold a ruler behind me that is perfectly straight. Everyone would think of it in just one way. It can’t be straight in more than one way. It is sin that is complicated; it is goodness that is simple.”
To sin is to transgress…and to transgress is to step over the boundaries of God. God has put boundaries in this life of ours…physcial boundaries, moral, & spiritual boundaries. When we take the initiative to step over these…we not only sin, but we also suffer the consequences. Sin doesn’t just affect us…it directly and indirectly hurts all of those who are close to us. Take David for a simple example…David’s sin led to Uriah’s death. Bathsheba’s baby died. David’s daughter Tamar was violated by her brother Amnon, who was then killed by Absalom, who in turn was slain by Joab. Is a fleeting moment of sinful pleasure worth a lifetime of sorrow? But most importanly, sin affects God…or better yet grieves God. If you wonder how it can hurt a God so powerful…all you have to do is go back Calvary and see his Son dying for the sins of the world…for your sins…for my sins. I believe it is safe to say that ours sins breaks God’s heart. By the Grace of God we are forgiven our sins and not given our just penalty. Though we may sin…come with a broken heart before Him, Vs. 17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”