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51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
51:2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
51:4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
51:8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
51:9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
51:13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
51:14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
51:15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
51:16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
51:18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
51:19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

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Everything King James Bible:Psalms
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Psalms
Book: Psalms
Chapter: 51

The psalmist prays for Mercy, humbly confessing and lamenting
his sins. (1-6) He pleads for Pardon, that he may promote the
Glory of God and the Conversion of sinners. (7-15) God is
pleased with a contrite Heart, A Prayer for the prosperity of
Zion. (16-19)

1-6 David, being convinced of his Sin, poured out his soul to
God in Prayer for Mercy and Grace. Whither should backsliding
children return, but to the Lord their God, who alone can heal
them? He drew up, By Divine teaching, an account of the workings
of his Heart toward God. Those that truly repent of their sins,
will not be ashamed to own their Repentance. Also, he instructs
others what to do, and what to say. David had not only done
much, but suffered much in the cause of God; yet he flees to
God's infinite Mercy, and depends upon that alone for Pardon and
peace. He begs the Pardon of Sin. The Blood of Christ, sprinkled
upon the Conscience, blots out the transgression, and, having
reconciled us to God, reconciles us to ourselves. The believer
longs to have the whole Debt of his sins blotted out, and every
stain cleansed; he would be thoroughly washed from all his sins;
but the Hypocrite always has some secret reserve, and would have
some favourite Lust spared. David had such a Deep sense of his
Sin, that he was continually thinking of it, with sorrow and
shame. His Sin was committed against God, whose Truth we deny By
wilful Sin; with him we Deal deceitfully. And the truly penitent
will ever trace back the streams of actual Sin to the Fountain
of original depravity. He confesses his original corruption.
This is that foolishness which is bound in the Heart of a Child,
that proneness to evil, and that backwardness to good, which is
the Burden of the regenerate, and the ruin of the unregenerate.
He is encouraged, in his Repentance, to Hope that God would
graciously accept him. Thou desirest Truth in the inward part;
to this God looks, in a returning sinner. Where there is Truth,
God will give Wisdom. Those who sincerely endeavour to do their
duty shall be taught their duty; but they will expect good only
from Divine Grace overcoming their corrupt nature.

7-15 Purge me with Hyssop, with the Blood of Christ applied to
my soul By a lively Faith, as the Water of Purification was
sprinkled with a Bunch of Hyssop. The Blood of Christ is called
the Blood of sprinkling, Heb 12:24. If this Blood of Christ,
which cleanses from all Sin, cleanse us from our Sin, then we
shall be Clean indeed, Heb 10:2. He asks not to be comforted,
till he is first cleansed; if Sin, the Bitter root of sorrow, be
taken away, he can pray in Faith, Let me have a Well-grounded
peace, of thy creating, So that the bones broken By convictions
may rejoice, may be comforted. Hide thy Face from my sins; Blot
out all Mine iniquities out of thy Book; Blot them out, as a
Cloud is blotted out and dispelled By the beams of the Sun. And
the believer desires renewal to Holiness as much as the joy of
Salvation. David now saw, more than ever, what an unclean Heart
he had, and sadly laments it; but he sees it is not in his own
power to amend it, and therefore begs God would create in him a
Clean Heart. When the sinner feels this change is necessary, and
reads the promise of God to that purpose, he begins to ask it.
He knew he had By his Sin grieved the Holy Spirit, and provoked
him to withdraw. This he dreads more than anything. He prays
that Divine comforts may be restored to him. When we give
ourselves cause to doubt our interest in Salvation, how can we
expect the joy of it? This had made him weak; he prays, I am
ready to fall, either into Sin or into despair, therefore uphold
me with thy Spirit. Thy Spirit is a free Spirit, a free Agent
himself, working freely. And the more cheerful we are in our
duty, the more constant we shall be to it. What is this but the
liberty wherewith Christ makes his people free, which is
contrasted with the Yoke of Bondage? Ga 5:1. It is the Spirit
of Adoption spoken to the Heart. Those to whom God is the God of
Salvation, he will deliver from guilt; for the Salvation he is
the God of, is Salvation from Sin. We may therefore plead with
him, Lord, thou art the God of my Salvation, therefore deliver
me from the dominion of Sin. And when the lips are opened, what
should they speak but the praises of God for his forgiving

16-19 Those who are thoroughly convinced of their misery and
danger By Sin, would spare No cost to obtain the remission of
it. But as they cannot make satisfaction for Sin, So God cannot
take any satisfaction in them, otherwise than as expressing Love
and duty to him. The good work wrought in every true penitent,
is a broken Spirit, a broken and a contrite Heart, and sorrow
for Sin. It is a Heart that is tender, and pliable to God's
Word. Oh that there were such a Heart in every one of us! God is
graciously pleased to accept this; it is instead of all
burnt-Offering and Sacrifice. The broken Heart is acceptable to
God only through Jesus Christ; there is No true Repentance
without Faith in him. Men despise that which is broken, but God
will not. He will not overlook it, he will not refuse or reject
it; though it makes God No satisfaction for the wrong done to
him By Sin. Those who have been in spiritual troubles, know how
to pity and pray for others afflicted in like manner. David was
afraid lest his Sin should bring judgements upon the City and
kingdom. No personal fears or troubles of Conscience can make
the soul, which has received Grace, careless about the interests
of the Church of God. And let this be the continued joy of all
the redeemed, that they have Redemption through the Blood of
Christ, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his

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