Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Reflections on Psalm 51

Photo by Daniel Y Go
Psalm 51 never fails to reflect the longing of my heart. Perhaps, in part, it is because this psalm was proclaimed in the liturgy we repeated every Sunday in the Lutheran church where I grew up. Its words were forever etched in my memory and now, as a believer, they are written on my heart.

As I read the words this morning two verses especially stood out:

You desire truth in the inward being;
therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Psalm 51:6

How often am I truly honest with myself? I convince myself that what I am doing, saying, or thinking is okay; it’s justified, and understandable. Yet, deep down, I know that I act from wrong motives, my words are a false cover up, and my thinking is entirely selfish. Why do I try to deceive myself and God? God knows the truth! It’s time I admitted those truths to myself.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10

I have prayed this verse over and over and over, and yet it never gets antiquated, irrelevant, or unnecessary. Every day I start out with the best of intentions; and every day sinful, selfish human nature shows itself.

Thankfully, our loving God provided a way for our hearts to be made clean:

For by the blood of Christ we are set free,
that is, our sins are forgiven.
How great is the grace of God!
Ephesians 1:6
For it is by God's grace that you have been saved through faith.
It is not the result of your own efforts,
but God's gift, so that no one can boast about it.
Ephesians 2:8-9

How has Psalm 51 spoken to you? Won’t you please leave a comment? I would love to hear your thoughts.

©2013 Pamela D. Williams
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