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August 16 – A personal lament for sin

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so that you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. – Psalm 51:4

Scripture reading: Psalm 51

It is interesting that on the heels of the application of the covenant, including the warning to sinners, comes this well-known psalm of restoration. The experts define Psalm 51 as a psalm of individual lament. Psalm 51 is one of those psalms well used in both the Israelite and Christian church eras to confess sin before God. Even though it has a historical association as David’s lament after his fall with Bathsheba, we ought to also understand the psalm was given by inspiration to David for us to sing and use to confess our sins. I think that it is vital that we pay attention to the setting as given by the heading of the psalm. It is also essential that we do not see Psalm 51 only as the words of David.

Most Reformed churches have a place in the worship service for a corporate confession of sins. As you head to church today, pay attention to that part of the worship service. It is easy to pass through that portion of worship to get to the sermon. After the call of Psalm 50 to order our way rightly with the promise of the salvation of God, Psalm 51 provides the appropriate attitude and words. Confession of sin ought to be a part of our worship of God and ministering to one another. Through repentance and the mercy of God to us in Christ, we begin to order our way right to the glory of our God.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray for blessings on our worship today, the forgiveness of the people of God and for God’s mercy that we may teach sinners the way they should go. Ask for grace that inspires joy and worship.

Rev. Al Bezuyen serves the Covenant Reformed Church of Toronto. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.


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