Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
Psalm 51:1-17 (NIV)
For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. 5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. 6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. 7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. 14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. 15 Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
Today is Ash Wednesday, the most solemn day of the Christian year. Our focus is on repentance for our sins. This is the traditional psalm of repentance (which we will use in the worship services today). It was written by David when he was repenting to God for his sins of committing adultery with Bathsheba and arranging for the death of her husband, Uriah. (That story is in 2nd Samuel 11 & 12). Focus on verses 9 & 10, which are fulfilled through the work of Jesus. When we have faith in Jesus, God sees Jesus’ perfect life instead of our sins. In addition, Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit to clean and renew our hearts.