Thursday, October 16, 2014

Is Your Sin “Staring You Down?”

Over the next few weeks we will examine several verses from Psalm 51 in which David speaks very candidly about the seriousness of his sin. I appreciate verses three though five a lot. I must first acknowledge the seriousness of my sin, and the need to confess my sin, before I can receive God’s mercy.

Photo by Ananth BS (Flickr)
Psalm 51:3 (NIV)
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.

Psalm 51:3 (MSG) / For meditation purposes.
I know how bad I’ve been;
my sins are staring me down.

What about you?
Is your sin staring you down each time you look in the mirror, but you can’t bring yourself to admit what you’ve done?  God will give you the grace you need! Please go to Him today.

I’m here if you need me. You can use a pseudonym if you want to share a little about your struggle (via the comment link). I’d be honored to pray with you.

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.


  1. "I must first acknowledge the seriousness of my sin, and the need to confess my sin, before I can receive God’s mercy." This does seem like a good starting place This all looks so simple when I see it broken down like this in writing. I think I keep getting side tracked when I consider that somewhere in the acknowledging and confessing I actually need to turn from my sin; it is that letting go, that permanency that seems to be the problem. How do you let go and not look back?

    1. I hear what you are saying Beth. I think this is something we all struggle with doing. I know that when I read this it made me reflect on my life and realize that there are still some sins I have not laid down and have away tried to look the other way. But by doing this are we not in fact grieving the Holy Spirit? Lets pray for each other that we will both confess our sins before God and find an accountability partner to be honest with about where we are stumbling and what we are stumbling over. Are you with me Beth?

  2. I was thinking about David recently, too. I had read Psalm 5 in my devotions and saw it in a different light than I had before. Usually, I saw it as a contrast between two separate groups of people: the righteous and the wicked. But this time I saw it as a message of hope, that the "two groups" there described are actually one and the same. The key was in the response to conviction: "But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple. Lead me, O LORD...." (verses 7,8)

    I don't have to fall down in despair, because God is merciful. Oh, wonderful, wonderful Lord!

    Beth, one thing I see as very important is to keep in mind that "letting go" is not only refusing to dwell on the past, but refusing to *repeat* the past. Praise the Lord that "it is God which worketh in you [and me!] both to will and to do of His good pleasure." Focus on the promises and on the Saviour who gave them. :)

    I will be interested to hear other responses to your question.

  3. This is a wonderful discussion.

    I was trying to post a comment, but for some reason the blog wouldn’t allow me to. However, after reading Sheila’s comment, it seems she and I are on the same page.

    I am learning that if we examine our choices, with their rewards or consequences, than we can allow those experiences be part of God directing us toward Him and His ways. When we really hate the consequences (including those of getting out of "fellowship" with our Lord), then we will be less likely to return to our sin.

    Looking at the other side, if we really love the rewards of choosing to obey our loving Father a whole lot, then we will most likely choose to keep showing our love for Him with our choices.

    Does that make sense?
    Thank you all or stopping by! Please do so again.

    And I love what Jan said about accountability and praying for each other. That's what we're here for!

  4. Sheila, can you clarify what you are saying? "the "two groups" there described are actually one and the same." I still see them as two distinct groups. Thank you dear sister. Oh and hi. It is good to see you again. :)

    1. Sure. I was trying to simplify a complex thought process I had, lol.

      In Psalm 5, verses 1 through 3, David pleas with God to hear his prayer.

      In verses 4 through 6, David talks of the division between God and wickedness -- to the point of God hates "all workers of iniquity." Notice, though, the descriptive words David uses to describe these people: wickedness, evil, foolish, "them that speak leasing [deceit]," bloody, deceitful. When you consider David's history, he could very well have been describing himself in his sin.

      Whereas verse 6 speaks of God's destruction of the wicked, verse 7 starts with a very important word: "but." :)

      "But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy...."

      I admit where I have been. I fully realize how detestable my sin is. I know my just reward. *But*, merciful Lord, don't leave me there!

      Verse 8 pleads with God to "lead me" and "make my way straight."

      Verses 9 and 10, of course, make it very clear again that to hang on to wickedness is a sure recipe for destruction.

      Then verses 11 and 12 talks of the joy and reward of the righteous -- which, by the way, who of us can claim on our own? "There is none righteous, no, not one." "All we like sheep have gone astray." "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

      The distinction is our choice: do we give God our heart *now*, in this moment -- or not? And that, step by step, one moment at a time, is the way we walk finally to victory.

      I'm not saying this is the only lesson in the Psalm or even that it is necessarily the primary lesson (I will leave that for the Holy Spirit to decide for each of us); but it is something that struck me pretty hard the other day. There is no room for self-righteousness in Christianity. And that includes me. ;)


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