Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Advent 2023: December 14 - Psalm

Thursday, December 14th: Psalm

Read Psalm 51.
David prays this Psalm after the greatest sin of his life.   He had lusted after Bathsheba and committed adultery with her which resulted in her getting pregnant.  Her husband Uriah is off fighting David’s wars, which David should also be fighting in.

David called him back from the front lines and tried on several occasions to get Uriah to go home and sleep with his wife, which would convince everyone that the child conceived by David is actually Uriah’s.  But Uriah does not do this, which leaves David with no choice from his perspective.  He decides to kill Uriah.  He sends him back with a message, which turns out to be his own hit. In battle Uriah is abandoned and killed in the fighting.
David waits the correct amount of time for mourning and then takes Bathsheba to be his wife and no one is the wiser.  Except for God of course, and he is not pleased with that.

So Nathan, David’s court prophet, goes to confront him and David realizes his sin. When we fall into sin we are good at hiding it and making excuses.  But David does not do this.
David writes Psalm 51 as a result of what we read in 2 Samuel 11-12.  David asks God to clean him and make him whole.  Using words that call back to the worship of the sacrifices and the blood being wiped on sinners to cleanse them from sin, David notes that it is not the blood of bulls that does this, but that God must be the one to clean him with the blood of His own choosing.

This blood will come from Jesus Christ, whom David here alludes to and hopes for.  But we could also say here as well that Jesus is praying this psalm as he acts as the sin bearer.  Jesus knew no sin.  But God made him sin for us, that we would become the righteousness of God.  David is cleansed because of Jesus Christ.  Because Jesus absorbed all the sin of the whole world into himself.  So Jesus prays these words as the sin bearer. God executes judgment and redemption for us and purchases us by the blood of Jesus, which makes us whiter than snow.