Psalms 51 pt II

Dr. Steve Viars August 21, 1993 Psalms 51:1-19

Psalm 1 - how to have a blessed, happy life

    Psalm 8 - Having the right view of God

    Psalm 15 - How to have fellowship with God both now and
      in eternity.

    Psalm 27 - Responding to enemies with confidence instead
     of fear.

    Psalm 51 - What to do when we've sinned.

- this morning we're going to continue our study of Psalm 51

- this Psalm breaks into three natural divisions
   - verse 1-6 - David's repentance - the admission of his
   - verses 7-12 - David's prayer requests - we'll talk more
         about that this morning.
   - verses 13-19 - David's "resolutions" - Lord willing,
         we'll study them next week.

- last week we studied the background of this Psalm and then
   worked through verses 1-2.
   - we said that in this (I. Prayer of Repentance), David
     cried out for mercy in verse 1 and cleansing in verse 2.

- the overall points last week was that, after we've blown
    it, we better know what direction to go.
    - It's almost like we have two dressers to choose from,
      one that will take us down the path of being restored
      to God, the other that will take us further down the
      path of sin.

- the "dresser" we want to avoid has drawers like:
    - the "excuse" drawer
    - the "blame it on someone else" drawer
    - the "be defensive" drawer
    - the "get on a ship to Tarshish" (run from God) drawer

- nosing around any of those drawers is just going to take us
   further down the path of sin.

- but the Lord is teaching us in Psalm 51 that the first
   "drawer" we better run to is the one containing the mercy
    of God.
- after we've blown it, we must recognize our great need of
     God's mercy.
- the believer who recognizes that, and admits that, and
   moves toward that--is well on his/her way to being
   restored to the Father.

- verse 2 taught us that David also prayed for cleansing.
   - this issue is going to come up again in verses 7 and 10,
      so we'll wait till we get there to say any more about
      cleansing except to remind ourselves that if we can't
      honestly pray verse 2, then we're really not repentant.
       - we may not know exactly how we're going to be
       - we may not fully understand how we're going to "get
          along" without that sinful habit that we've
          indulged in so long.

- but if we don't desire to be cleansed--whatever process
   we're going through is not biblical repentance.

- now let's keep moving down through this Psalm, looking for
   things the Lord is telling us about handling it when we've
   blown it.

    C. A recognition of sin

        - verse 3-4
        - David says in verse 3 - I acknowledge my sin.
          - in other words, I admit that I was wrong--I admit
              that I am guilty

          - no excuses, defending--instead, a clear
              acknowledgement of sin.

- one writer on this subject said, "True confession is not a
lifeless acknowledgement of committed sin. It is a vivid
consciousness of one's sinfulness, accompanied by
restlessness, anguish, and a burden of guilt that causes a
man to cry out for mercy.  David acknowledged his
transgressions in the light of their awful significance.  So
intense was David's guilt that he could never forget his sin.
Regardless of the beauty of the evening or the peacefulness
of the hillside, his transgressions loomed before him.  He
could not escape their haunting presence in his life. God had
used the searing words of Nathan the prophet like a branding
iron to impress upon David's mind the reality that he, like
any of his humblest subjects, was a sinner.
- you might look at verse 4 and say - "How could that be
   INPUT - please tell me - why do we struggle with this
     verse?  (because it leaves out the many people who were
     also sinned against.)


     - however, it's important that we don't miss the very
       important point that David is making here--his
       recognition of how he had sinned against a holy God
       was so focused and so intense--(at least at this point
       in the repentance process)--that there "wasn't room"
       for thinking about everyone else involved  (that would
       come later)
        - but now it was time to think about how what
           happened on that warm evening in Jerusalem (and
           the subsequent sins against other people) was
           first and foremost an offense agaist God.

- that perspective doesn't come automatically, but it has to
   come if you and I are going to be genuinely repentant.
     - this recognition would also help us cut down on some
       of the blaming and excusing
         - when we're focused on the people involved--we
           might try to blame as much of it on their sins and
           shortcomings as possible
             - but when we focus on how we sinned against
               God--there aren't any excuses or reasons for

- there's a number of places in the Scripture that attempt to
   help us see sin from this perspective.
     - I Cor. 8:12 - READ

     - of this these verses ought to lead us to some
        questions.  How faithful are you at confessing your
        sins to the Father?
          - it's possible for a person to have progressed
             spiritually to the point of asking other
             people's forgiveness when they've sinned--but
             not to recognize that sin as an affront against
             a holy God.

- we need to hear David's emphasis; "Against thee and thee
    only have I sinned."

- it's very exciting to see what the Lord is doing in our
    Sunday School class and in our church.  the great number
    of new folks are a great encouragement and blessing.
      - but I think we all need to recognize that in a church
        like ours which spends a lot of time teaching what
        the Scriptures say about the home and families --
          - that it's possible for a person to see the need
            of these truths, and even to begin to apply these
              - but to do so in a very "humanistic" manner,
                or a very horizontal manner
                 - it ought to upset me that my sin offends
                      my spouse
                 - it ought to upset me that my sin offends
                      my children
                 - it ought to upset me first that my sin
                     offends my God.
                      - sometimes that component is lacking,
                        and if so, the repentance is
                        incomplete and ineffective.

D. A Realization of depravity

    - verses 5-6

    - you know that David's not saying the procreation
      process is sinful--that would violate a number of other
      passages in the Scripture.

    - but the point David is making here is an important one:
        - let's "bat it around for a minute" - INPUT - how
          does this concept fit in with what David is
          discussing and why is it an important part of the
          repentance process?

        - (he realized that this wasn't a "freak event," or
            an "oops," or a "one time only issue.")

- it was part of his lifelong, ongoing struggle with sin

- before we move out of this first section in Psalm 51, let
   me ask you:
     - do you and David have the "same kind of heart" when it
        comes to the matter of repentance?
     - do you find yourself praying and thinking similar
         kinds of thoughts?
     - is it possible that you struggle with repeating the
         "same kinds of sins over and over and over" because
          your repentance does not match the characteristics
          set forth in Psalm 51?

- in verses 7-12, the passage takes a different direction.
   - verses 1-6 mainly deal with David's admission or
        - i.e. "here's what I've done,"

   - verses 7-12 are David's prayer requests.
   - he recognizes the important balance between what he must
      do in the repentance process, and what He must ask God
      to do.

      - repentance that focuses only on what God must do is
         irresponsible and incomplete.
      - repentance that focuses only on what man must do is
         humanistic, "of the flesh," and sure to fall short.
      - nowhere is the delicate balance between God's
         sovereignty and human responsibility more important.

- instead of going verse by verse through this part of the
   passage, we'd like to "draw out" three main themes that
   are actually repeated in the verses:

II. A Prayer Of Renewal

    A. I ask for your cleansing - v. 7, v. 10

        - David needed to be cleansed positionally so he
          could be returned to a position of favor before God
        - He also needed to be cleansed practically so he
           would not repeat this kind of sinfulness in the

- the believer in Christ also needs to be cleansed.

    - we're cleansed by the blood of Christ at salvation
      (Hebrews 9:11-15, 10:22)
    - we're cleansed through the Word as we continue to grow
       - (Eph. 5:26)

- I'd like to stop at this point and have us think about the
   question "exactly what did David need to be cleansed of?"
   - in the next few minutes, I'm going to be drawing
     material from the book "Forgotten Factors" by Roy
   - we could have talked about this information when we
      discussing the first six verses--but I wanted to get a
      little further into the passage before we did.

   - I would highly recommend this book, and I hope you won't
      feel like you shouldn't buy it lest someone think you
      are in deep sexual sin.
   - the thesis of the book is that when a person is caught
      up in sexual sin, there are often "strands" or
      characteristics of that sin that are overlooked, i.e.
      forgotten factors.

- the reason I think this would be a good book for everyone
   to read is because that thesis could apply to any area of
   sinfulness we were trying to handle--and could be very
   beneficial for all of us.

- David has been asking for "thorough, complete" cleansing.
   - that assumes that he, and we, have thought through all
     the ways our sin "was sinful."

- here are four selected "forgotten factors" in sexual sin.

  1) stealing

     - when we think about sexual sin, we typically think
       about the lust that was involved, and the misuse of
       our bodies.  Those are the things a person in sexual
       sin would typically "confess."

     - but what about the theft that was involved?

          - read selected parts of Forgotten Factors, pg. 20-

  2) multiplied duplicities

    - almost always when sexual sin is present, lying and
        duplicity is involved as well.

    - You know that the story of David and Bathsheba are
       known are known, at least in skeletal fashion, by many
       in our world.
    - Hollywood has even tried to reenact these events.

       - but the "spin" that is usually put to this story by
         those who haven't carefully studied the verses is
         that David had a great love for Bathsheba, and that
         that love motivated him to do what he did.
- the fact is--David had a great love for himself.  That
   self-love motivated him to an unbelievable web of lies
   and deceptive acts in order to try to cover and
- the point is - yes, he needed to be cleansed of the lust,
    and the sexual sin--but he also needed to be cleansed of
    his deceptive lifestyle.

    - read selected parts of pages 36-37

  3) sin against own body

     - I Cor. 3:17 - READ
     - the NT speaks strongly about our bodies being united
         with Christ--and the importance of using these
         bodies to bring honor to Christ.

     - page 51

  4) Wrong against God

     - we spoke earlier about recognizing this sin as a sin
       against God--but let's work on that a little more.

     - let's go back to II Sam. 11 and see how God tried to
        help David see what this sin revealed about his
        relationship with Him.
     - read II Sam. 12:7-9

          - what is the Lord "putting his finger on" in these
             verses?  (the matter of unthankfulness)

          - cf. satan's method with Adam/Eve

          - Page 59, 61

    B. I ask for your forgiveness

        - v. 9, 11

    C. I ask for restored joy in you

        - v. 8, v. 12

Dr. Steve Viars


Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation


B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video