Although David, to hide his own sin, dealt very cruelly with the husband of the woman whom he had defiled, he in Psalm 51:1 cries out, "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy loving kindness, according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions."
There are two things which we ought to see in this cry, because they hold true also for us. First of all, we ought to hold fast to the truth presented here that it takes a multitude of God's mercies to wipe away our guilt, or else we will perish under God's holy wrath. Forgiveness of our sins requires mercy for each sin.
It took only one sin of Adam to bring down the curse upon the whole human race; and, as Paul writes in Romans 6:23 "the wages of sin is death." Each sin then calls for death and everlasting punishment in the lake of fire.
What a multitude of mercies is then required for us to escape God's holy wrath, by having our sins wiped out of His book! What a multitude of loving kindness it was then also that God sent His own Son for such a multitudinous punishment, so that we might be judged to be righteous in God's sight!
But consider also that a cry for mercy with a confession of sin earns us no mercy, but underscores the need for God to show us mercy. The word "confess" means literally "to say with." In this instance it means to say with God that we are vile sinners and deserve no mercy, but should be cast into the torments of hell. In our confession of sin we earn nothing. And a sincere confession agrees with God that we deserve everlasting punishment.
Cry to Him then, but not with the idea that your confession will move Him to be merciful. Cry at the end of every day; but base your request on the multitude of mercies which His Son purchased. And with confidence sing:
God be merciful to me,
On Thy grace I rest my plea;
Plenteous in compassion Thou,
Blot out my transgressions now.
Read: Psalm 51
Psalter versification: 140:1
Devotions on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter number 66
Why not sing along??
Through the Bible in One Year
Genesis 50; Exodus 1; Exodus 2:1-10
Matthew 16:13-28; Matthew 17:1-9
Quote for Reflection:
“Saving faith is not a native product of the human heart, but is a spiritual grace communicated from on High. "It is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8). It is "of the operation of God" (Col. 2:12). It is by "the power of God" (1 Cor. 2:5) …(But) there is no such thing as a saving faith in Christ where there is no real love for Him, and by "real love," we mean a love which is evidenced by obedience. Christ acknowledges none to be His friends save those who do whatsoever He commands them (John 15:14). As unbelief is a species of rebellion, so saving faith is a complete subjection to God: hence we read of "faith obedience" (Rom. 16:26). Saving faith is to the soul what health is to the body: it is a mighty principle of operation, full of life, ever working, bringing forth fruit after its own kind.” -Arthur Pink