“Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me.” Psalm 51:2-3 (NKJ)
The 51st Psalm is God’s lesson on confession. It was authored by King David after he was confronted by Nathan the prophet for his adulterous affair with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah. The whole incident was not unlike the stories we read in the gossip tabloid or see in the latest “made for television” sequel. King David, however, gives us a better approach to confession.
First, King David quickly accepted responsibility for his behavior and pleaded guilty to all charges. He immediately called upon God for forgiveness. He offers no excuses but appealed to God to “blot out, wash and cleanse him” from his “transgressions, iniquity, and sin.”
“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.” (VV. 3-4)
Next, King David recounted God’s expectation of him, as a man and as the leader of Israel. Though King David had perpetrated this crime against Uriah, he answered to a Higher Judge, the omniscient God, who see, hears, and knows all things. There are no “hidden sins” in His presence.
“Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.” (VV. 4-6)
Finally, King David was concerned about his broken relationship with God. He had the unique opportunity of walking closely with the Lord most of his life beginning as a young shepherd boy in the hills of Bethlehem. He longed to be restored to that relationship.
“Create in me a pure heart, 0 God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” (VV.10-12)
It is important that we learn to quickly confess our sins. Unconfessed sin results in guilt and shame, spiritual strongholds in our lives, and even worst, a broken relationship with God. Therein lies the power in confession. Power comes from the One who is “faithful to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
“Who is a God like You, who pardons sin and forgives transgressions?” (Micah 7:18) There is none O Lord like You.