Psalm 51There are countless chapters in the Bible that Gods children have adopted as their own. Like letters sent directly to us, in a particular time of need. None have served me better than Psalm 51, maybe the first runner up to Psalm 23, when it comes to the most familiar Psalms of David.
David is one of the Old Testaments most famous characters. Famous for taking on Goliath in the Valley Of Elah. Infamous for committing adultery with Bathsheba, then taking her husbands life. And perhaps most significantly, famous for being the only Biblical character described as being ' a man after Gods own heart'.
But he was an adulterer and a murderer, 2 attributes that God clearly disdained. So how then could this sinful man be considered ' a man after Gods own heart'?. Well, it's in the context of redemption. It is the Great Redeemer that takes the hopeless sinner, and re-establishes him or her into a faultless relationship with God. Faultless is a huge word. It means we are no longer at fault for anything we've ever done. And as Psalm 51 says, we are 'washed to be whiter than snow', cleansed from each and every transgression. What a concept! What an intuitive object of thought.
'Psalms' can be defined as spiritual songs, and David was a gifted lyricist. He wrote hundreds of 'songs' and accompanied himself with a harp, a modern day piano. In fact David was undoubtedly the greatest artist of all time; a rock star of sorts ; Bob Dylan with a crown.A king, A pop artist, A battlefield hero. David was 'the man'. He was 'Alexander the Great', 'Elton John', and 'King James the 1st', all rolled into one.But David is not remembered, nor is he exalted, as a historical success figure, a cultural icon. Rather he's remembered as a God fearing boy who's faith in God was so strong, that he agreed to take on a giant, with nothing more than a slingshot. And he's remembered as an adulterous King, that effectively put to death, the husband of his sexual conquest. But more than anything else, David is remembered for the way he worshipped his God. His lyrical prowess is found in countless verses, maybe the best example being Psalm 23 v 4 ; "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil", a prolific visualizers masterpiece. David is essentially a reluctant superstar that spends a great deal of his time in humbleness before God, seeking atonement and spiritual restoration. Writing songs, not just to entertain, but more importantly, to compel others to seek redemption, not at his throne, but at the throne of God. Davids lyrics were undoubtedly supported by a catchy tune, and hummed or sung in the baths and fields and chariots throughout the kingdom, consequently invoking the people to be cleansed before God.Psalm 51 is a manual for all of Christendom, a 6 verse, 'how to' chapter, for anyone of us that loses our way, and wants back. God doesn't want us to say we're sorry, so that He in turn can forgive us. He's already done that. He wants us to confess our sin so that we can move on, unencumbered by burdens of guilt. The enemy wants to constrain us, to shackle us with remorse and shame.But the Savior wants to free us, to 'cleanse us and present us, as whiter than snow'. ( vs 7 )God wants us to know that no matter what we've done, He's still there, and we're still forgiven. And it's then that He can use us to turn sinners and transgressors back to Him, although they might be advised to line up behind us.
It's David, who despite never winning a Grammy, must be considered the best musical artist of all time. And it's in his God inspired words that, 4000 years later, we still find hope and redemption at the foot of our Masters throne.