Psalms 51 Commentary

Please choose a passage:

Psalm 51:1-3

David looks deep into his own heart and is confronted with his own sin. He comes to the realization that he needs more than forgiveness. He needs cleansing in the innermost being.

Psalm 51:4-6

David acknowledges the reality that all sin is ultimately an affront to God. God is the perfect judge. His ways are good and right. David asks for wisdom and truth to be implanted into his heart so that he may live as God desires him to.

Psalm 51:7-9

After searching his heart in the presence of God, David realizes the hopeless condition of his sinful heart and he cries out to God. He knows that he needs to be purified, washed, and healed.

Psalm 51:10-12

Beyond healing and cleansing, David sees that he needs an entirely new heart. His old heart leads him astray. He prays that God would not take away the Holy Spirit from him.

Psalm 51:13-15

David knows that when God creates a new heart, it will redirect his life. He will teach transgressors and sinners the way of God and he will become an effective and impactful worshipper of the Lord God.

Psalm 51:16-17

David understands that God doesn’t care about animal sacrifices and religious performance, if there is no heart behind them. God’s delight cannot be purchased.

Psalm 51:18-19

David turns his prayer toward the needs of Israel. He asks for grace and blessing on Jerusalem, that its people would all live obediently before Him, so that their offerings at the altar would reflect an inner reality of humbly seeking to please God.