One cannot fully appreciate what David felt in Psalm 51 until they have read what lead to his repentance. “And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. …and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man…but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it …. And David’s anger was greatly kindled…and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man…,” (2 Samuel 12:1-7). Nathan disguised the story for David, but was telling of David’s sins with Bathsheba.
Probably some would dare to chastise David for feeling so wrathful, but I can see myself the same in this situation. While reading the verses, I must confess, I devised many ways to punish this offender; none of which were pretty. But then, the Holy Spirit reminded me I’m not so righteous either. Now the punishment won’t be as bad because we’re talking about me now. This story of the wayfarer is about all of us. Just fill in the blanks with your own circumstances. How many things has God given me and I wanted something else. How many pet sheep have I killed?
I know of one-the Lamb of God. Jesus went to the cross for my sin (yours too). He was the Perfect Lamb of God! We all had a hand in it. See David’s reaction when he has had enough of running from God. “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3). Our sin will not leave us alone until we settle with God. David takes the most sensible route-he acknowledges his sins and moves forward (“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God…” (Psalm 51:7-10). It’s our choice-be dogged by the hounds of hell; or be eternally safe and forgiven by Jesus!