Rebellion against God makes us all filthy and in need of the ultimate cleansing that comes from God.

Psalm 51

(For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.)


1 Have mercy on me, O God,

    according to your unfailing love;

according to your great compassion

    blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash away all my iniquity

    and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,

    and my sin is always before me.

4 Against you, you only, have I sinned

    and done what is evil in your sight;

so you are right in your verdict

    and justified when you judge.

5 Surely I was sinful at birth,

    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;

    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;

    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

8 Let me hear joy and gladness;

    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

9 Hide your face from my sins

    and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,

    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me from your presence

    or take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation

    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,

    so that sinners will turn back to you.

14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,

    you who are God my Saviour,

    and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.

15 Open my lips, Lord,

    and my mouth will declare your praise.

16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;

    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

17 My sacrifice, O God, is[b] a broken spirit;

    a broken and contrite heart

    you, God, will not despise.

18 May it please you to prosper Zion,

    to build up the walls of Jerusalem.

19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,

    in burnt offerings offered whole;

    then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Cross, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Daily Devotion, Filthy

David was a man of God.  He was chosen to be the king of Israel, anointed by Samuel in a public and distinctive act that set him apart, to do a specific job for God.  This must have been an amazing experience – to be recognized as having a specific task for David to do, given by God.  A task that came with many earthly privileges.

Sadly, God tells us clearly that David’s desires for another man’s wife created a tragedy for himself, his family and for others.  Sin overwhelmed his life.

As David faced his sin he was utterly shattered.  So many aspects of his life are destroyed and dirty.  He paints picture after picture of his depravity, distortion and degradation brought about by his sin. Sad and grim pictures.

These sad pictures are juxtaposed with the cleansing and purity that comes from God.  Every time David is drawn into the filthiness of examining his sin, God responds with words of the pure cleansing that comes from him.  David is in no doubt about what his sin has done to him and those around him, but God counters again and again with his willingness to wash and forgive – willingness to ultimately deal with David’s sin.

So is David’s life very far from the way we live?  Of course it is tempting to apply some kind of spiritual marking system that either marks us above or below David’s “sin score”.  Tempting and common but completely wrong.  David’s sin and all our sin comes from one place, a desire to have what we want, when and how we want it.  Rebellion.

Rebellion against God makes us all filthy and in need of the ultimate cleansing that comes from God.

God brings that ultimate cleansing through another man.  A king like David, anointed and set apart to do a particular task for God.  His task was to bring forgiveness to rebellious, dirty people.  That man’s name is Jesus.  He took all the punishment for David’s sin and my sin, our rebellion and left us free and forgiven.  Clean.

Head: David suggests that we should embrace a “broken spirit” in vs. 17 – what is that?

Heart: How does it feel when we understand that we are clean? 

Hands: How can we live in a way that shows others that we have been cleansed by Jesus?

Prayer: Dear God, thank you that you relentlessly sought to cleanse us.   Even when we rebel, your offer of purity and cleansing still stands.  It is through the death of your precious Son, Jesus that our sins are dealt with, our filth is washed away. Thank you that we can now live with complete joy, because when we accept the gift of Jesus’ death in our place, the filth of our sin is gone.  Thank you. In Jesus’ name and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen

A song to listen to: Nothing but the blood of Jesus

Andrea Pryde

This Grow Daily was originally posted as part of The Jesus in series in 2016. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years.