11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Psalm 51 is David’s prayer begging for forgiveness following his sins of committing adultery with Bathsheba and then having her husband killed in battle. He knew that he had betrayed his covenant with God, and is asking for another chance. We know when we sin – although that’s not a popular word in today’s world – and we need to beg forgiveness too.
No matter how David might have tried to justify his actions in his own mind, he knew it was wrong. No matter how hard we try to justify our sinful actions, we know when we do wrong. Then it is necessary to try to make things right. When we have difficulties in deciding if what we want to do is right or wrong, we have the Holy Spirit within us to help us. All we need to do is ask. The world may tell us that sin is just an old fashioned idea, but when we ask ourselves if we would like to be treated the way we are planning on treating someone else, we get the answer. We never have to carry around the burden of our sins. Confession of our sins to a loving and forgiving God removes the burden from us and brings us a renewed sense of joy.
Sometimes it helps to seek out a minister or priest if our guilt seems overwhelming. If not a religious figure, then perhaps a professional counselor or trusted friend is called for. No matter what road we choose, we should learn from David’s example as well as from the example of Peter and Paul, that no sin is too great to be forgiven. Today is a good day to lay down whatever burdens you or I might be carrying and allow God to forgive us and give us that clean heart he has waiting for us.
Loving and forgiving God, please forgive us our sins as you forgave David. Give us the strength to forgive ourselves so that we may once again rejoice in our salvation. Amen.