Sing When You're Grappling with Guilt

Few of the Psalms are related so directly to the life of David as Psalm 51. Some include echoes of his life story: as a shepherd, a soldier being hunted by the then King Saul, and of events in his own reign as King. But none so specifically pinpoint any of the stories of his life as this one, which is directly associated with his adulterous liaison with Bathsheba and its consequences. We don’t know whether it was written by David, or simply inspired by his story, but it still speaks of someone wrestling with guilt.
Unattended to guilt can be the grit that produces, not a pearl within the oyster of our hearts and minds, but a series of spiritual and psychological problems, that may also manifest themselves in physical illness. But even where we think that we have "got away with it" (much like David) we are assured that no wrong-doing goes un-noted, and we will have to answer for our guilt one day. David's story may be about sex, conspiracy and murder in high places, but the Psalm it inspired speaks into the need that we all have to face our guilt and experience the grace of God. Here is yet another paraphrase of this Psalm (again a reblog).

Out of your unfailing love, O God, have mercy upon me;
Out of your grace, wipe out my wrongdoing.
Wash away my guilt
Cleanse me from my sin.
For I know what I have done is wrong,
My sins are staring me straight in the face.
You, above all, are the one I have sinned against.
You have seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you
So your judgment of me will be fair.
I have been sinful since my birth
A sinner born of sinners.
You want us to be true from inside to out.
Enter then, and renew me with your wisdom within.
Cleanse me with spiritual soap, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, so that I might be whiter than snow.
Let my ears hear songs of rejoicing and happiness;
Let my heavy limbs dance for joy.
Turn your face from my sins
Erase my errors.
Create in me a new holy heart, O God,
Breath a new steadfast spirit into me.
Do not turn me away from your presence
Or remove your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore within me the joy of your salvation
Grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Then I will tell other wrongdoers your ways,
and more sinners will turn back to you.
Save me from death, O God, my Saviour, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
O Lord, unbutton my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
You don’t take pleasure in public acts of penitence, or I would make them;
You don’t desire showy sacrifices, or I would bring them.
The sacrifice you desire O God, is a broken spirit;
A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will accept as your own.
From Psalm 51:1-17



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