We will begin this lesson by giving the 51st Psalm in metre.

                   THE PSALMS OF DAVID IN METRE

                             Chapter 51

Verse 1  "Lord, to me compassion show, As thy tender mercies flow; In
          thy vast and boundless grace, My transgressions all erase;
          Wash me wholly from my; sins, Cleanse me from my guilty
Verse 2  "For my transgression lies Ever present to my eyes; I have
          sinned' against thee alone, In thy sight this evil done;
          That thy judgment may be clear, And thy speaking just
Verse 3  "Lo, conceived was I in sin, Born unholy and unclean; Yet
          thou dost desire to find Truth sincere within the mind, And
          thou wilt within my heart Wisdom unto me impart."
Verse 4  "Wash from every guilty stain, Cleanse with hyssop, make me
          clean; Then from all pollution free, Whiter than the snow
          I'll be. Let me hear joy's cheering tones, Making glad these
          broken bones."
Verse 5  "From my sins hide thou thy face, Blot them out in thy rich
          grace; Free my heart, O God, from sin, Spirit right renew
          within. Cast me not away from thee, Nor thy spirit take from
Verse 6  "Give salvation's joy again, Let thy spirit me sustain, Then
          shall sinners, fought by me, Learn thy ways and turn to
          thee. Free me from the guilt of blood, God, of my salvation
Verse 7  "Freed from guilt, my tongue shall raise songs thy
          righteousness to praise; Open thou my lips, O Lord, Then my
          mouth shall praise accord; Sacrifice thou wilt not take,
          Else would I the off'ring make.
Verse 8  "Sacrifice, or burnt-off'ring Can to thee no pleasure bring;
          But a spirit crushed for sin, Contrite, broken heart Within,
          Thine accepted sacrifice, Thou, O God, wilt not despise.
Verse 9  "Zion favor in thy grace, Yea, Jerus'lem's ramparts raise;
          Then shall sacrifice right, Whole burnt-off'ring thee
          delight; So shall men, their vows to pay, Victims on thine
          altar lay."

     We will begin now in the verse by verse study of the 51st Psalm.
Psalms 51:1 "{To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the
prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bath-sheba.} Have mercy
upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the
multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions."

     The prayer of every person who ever came to God is spoken in the
verse above. Have mercy, on me a sinner. We know that the Bible says,
all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Then we are
classed as sinners. Some of us sinners have been to the fountain, and
been washed in His precious spotless blood, and made righteous in the
sight of God. This is definitely David speaking here. Notice, David
comes not in his own righteousness. He pleads for the mercy of God.
David comes empty handed, just as we do. David, at this point, has
nothing to offer God, but a broken spirit full of repentance. These
requests are made according to God's lovingkindness. David is like
many of us who have sinned. He knows God is full of love, and
kindness, and mercy. The sin that David committed here is carved into
his heart. David's heart is breaking. How many times have we done some
terrible thing and wished that God would just completely blot it off
the record? David does not want this sin covered up, he wants it
completely blotted out.

     Psalms 51:2 "Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me
from my sin."

     Sin causes a person, who is at all conscious of God, to feel
dirty. In David's case here, he feels dirty from within as well as
outside. The word throughly, above, is a different word than
thoroughly. Throughly indicates a cleansing from within, as well as an
outward washing. The sins that hurt the worst are the sins that the
world is not aware of. Just as it helps a child to get over doing
something wrong when his parent spanks him, David would feel better if
this sin is brought to light where he could be punished for it. We
must not overlook the prophetic message, here, as well. Wash me with
your unstained blood, O Lord, and I shall be white as snow. The only
way to be clean, within and without, is to be washed in this precious
blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ our Lord.

     Psalms 51:3 "For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin [is]
ever before me."

     Sin, that has not been forgiven by the washing of the blood of
the Lamb, is constantly on your mind. David admits he has sinned, and
that is the first step to being forgiven.

     Psalms 51:4 "Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done
[this] evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou
speakest, [and] be clear when thou judgest."

     This sin is devastating David. He feels so guilty, because he was
the chosen of God. He had even been anointed with oil by the prophet
of God, and yet he committed this sin. David is saying, here, God I
sinned against heaven and You and whatever punishment You see fit to
do, I deserve it. David knows that whatever judgement God makes on
this matter, it will be fully deserved.

     Psalms 51:5 "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my
mother conceive me."

     David is saying that he was born in sin. He is blaming his sin on
the fact that he was a flesh man.

     Psalms 51:6 "Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and
in the hidden [part] thou shalt make me to know wisdom."
     I have been saying, all along that God looks at the inside of
man. He looks at the heart and examines the condition of the heart.
David's heart was always stayed upon God. It was the desire of David's
heart to do what was right in God's sight. David fell prey to the
desires of his flesh, when he sinned with Bathsheba. I have said, over
and over, that we must let our spirit rule over our flesh. The flesh
of mankind must be crucified with Christ that we might live victorious

     Psalms 51:7 "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me,
and I shall be whiter than snow."

     Hyssop was used to apply the blood of the Lamb. David knows that
only the blood of the precious Lamb of God can wash him and make him
white as snow. Purge, in the verse above, is speaking of purifying his
inward man. He is saying, Lord, you burn out all the evil within me,
and wash me with your blood, and make me white as snow. This is a
white that is so white no fuller on earth can compare with it. This is
not David washing, this is God washing David. This is the white that
we all receive from the Lord, when He washes us in the blood of the

     Psalms 51:8 "Make me to hear joy and gladness; [that] the bones
[which] thou hast broken may rejoice."

     David is speaking of his bones even aching from the sin he has
committed against God. All joy and gladness had been missing from his
life. One of the side benefits from being forgiven and knowing you are
forgiven, is the overwhelming joy that comes from the forgiveness.

     Psalms 51:9 "Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine

     It is so beautiful when we are living the life we believe will be
pleasing to God. Then we want Him to look at us. When we feel as if we
have disappointed God, we want to hide from Him. The sad thing is
there is no place to hide from God.

     Psalms 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a
right spirit within me."

     David is very wise. To get a clean heart, we must allow God to
wash our old one in the blood of the Lamb. We must allow the old man
to die that we can become a new creature in Christ Jesus. Spirit, in
the verse above, has to do with breath. God breathed the breath of
life into man when He first created him. I believe this breath
{spirit}, here, means new life. David is saying, I want to be born
again with a spirit stayed upon God.

     Psalms 51:11 "Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not
thy Holy Spirit from me."

     The Holy Spirit of God had been with David ever since he had been
anointed by Samuel in the house of his father. God's guiding Spirit
had been with David when he killed the giant Goliath. God's protection
had been continuously around David when he fled from Saul. David is
very well aware that he deserves for God to turn away from him for
this terrible sin he committed, which brought on more sins. David
knows that the fault is not God, but himself. To have had the presence
of the Spirit of God within us, and have it to leave would be
horrible.  David is praying that this will not happen.

     Psalms 51:12 "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and
uphold me [with thy] free spirit."

     This is a plea for God to forgive him, one more time. It appears
that David is fearful that he has lost the salvation that he once had
in the Lord. When God forgives, there is total restoration.

     Psalms 51:13 "[Then] will I teach transgressors thy ways; and
sinners shall be converted unto thee."

     David is promising, if God forgives him, he will tell all who
commit sin that God forgives. He is actually promising to be a soul
winner for God. Not only has David learned a lesson himself about
committing sin, but he promises to pass on this knowledge to others
that they might be saved, also. The best teacher in all the world is
someone who has passed the same way before you. Experience is a great

     Psalms 51:14 "Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of
my salvation: [and] my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness."

     David had not only committed adultery with Bathsheba, but had her
husband killed to get her for himself. This is what is meant by
bloodguiltiness. Uriah had been faithful to David in his duties. David
had him killed to get his wife for himself. David's only hope is in
the fact that he has great faith in God. Those who have been forgiven
much, love much. Though his sins were as scarlet, God will make him
white as snow. Look, with me, in the following verse and see that
those whom God has forgiven much, love Him the most. Luke 7:47
"Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven;
for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, [the same] loveth

     Psalms 51:15 "O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew
forth thy praise."

     David, up until God forgave him, had been very ashamed of what he
had done. He had nothing to say in his defense, because he knew he was
guilty as charged. God can open David's mouth by forgiving David.
David will not cease to praise God for the forgiveness He has given

     Psalms 51:16 "For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give
[it]: thou delightest not in burnt offering."

     David is aware that no sacrifice would be enough to satisfy God
for the terrible sins he has committed. David is saying, if there were
a sacrifice that could clear my conscience of these terrible sins, I
would have already done them. No burnt offering or sacrifice would
take care of this sin.

     Psalms 51:17 "The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a
broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."

     We see not only David in this, but everyone who has ever sinned
and been truly sorry for their sin. Speaking of the broken spirit, is
speaking of someone who realizes the terrible sin he has committed and
knows there should not be forgiveness for such a terrible sin as this.
A sin sick heart is the broken and contrite heart. True repentance
begins in the spirit and heart of the sinner. The guilt from
unconfessed sin can absolutely destroy you. You feel as if your heart
will break in two. This is the only thing that will get forgiveness
from God for sins as terrible as this. True repentance comes along
with the broken heart.

     Psalms 51:18 "Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou
the walls of Jerusalem."

     Nothing would have pleased David more than to have been the one
to build the temple for the Arc of the Covenant. God would not allow
David to build the temple, because he was a warring man, not a man of
peace. As we have said throughout these lessons, Zion is a literal
place, but also symbolizes the church. The church is built on the
forgiveness  of God toward His people. David loved Jerusalem. This
Jerusalem, very well could be speaking of the building of the church
of the Lord Jesus Christ.

     Psalms 51:19 "Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of
righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then
shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar."

     This could be speaking of the time when the temple would be
completed and the sacrifices would be made. We see in the fact that
the entire bull was offered in sacrifice, the total humility of David
in receiving forgiveness for his sins. The sacrifice of righteousness
is when we receive the righteousness through faith in the Lord Jesus

                             Questions 51

1.  What is the cry of everyone who ever came to God?
2.  Who is this Psalm addressed to?
3.  Who had David sinned with?
4.  What sins had he committed?
5.  What did David ask God to do to his transgressions?
6.  David does not come in his own righteousness, but begs for the
    _____ of God.
7.  What is the only thing David has to offer God, at this point?
8.  In verse 1, we see David with a _________ heart.
9.  What does sin cause a person to feel about himself?
10. What does the word throughly indicate in verse 2?
11. What helps a child get over doing something wrong?
12. What is the only way to be clean from without and within?
13. What is the first step toward being forgiven of your sin?
14. In verse 4, David says he has committed this sin against whom?
15. What is David assured of about any punishment God might see fit to
    inflict for this sin?
16. I was shapen in _________, and in ____ did my mother conceive me.
17. What was David blaming his sinful nature on?
18. What is God more interested in than in your flesh?
19. Why did David sin with Bathsheba?
20. What was hyssop used for?
21. What is purge, in verse 7, speaking of?
22. Did God really break David's bones?
23. What was meant by the breaking of his bones?
24. When do we want to hide from God?
25. In verse 10, David wants God to create in him a new ______.
26. What does the author believe Spirit, in verse 10, is speaking of ?
27. When had David received the Holy Spirit of God?
28. Restore unto me the ____ of my salvation.
29. What does the word Bloodguiltness show us?
30. Why were David's lips closed?
31. Why has David not gone and sacrificed for the sin he committed?
32. Verse 17 says the sacrifices of God are what?
33. What is a broken spirit?
34. Why did God not allow David to build the temple?
35. What is Zion, besides a specific place?
36. What can we tell about David by the entire bull being sacrificed?