"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. In your good pleasure make Zion prosper; build up the walls of Jerusalem."
(Psalm 51:17-18)

Psalm 51
God said that King David was a “man after his own heart,” yet David fell disastrously. He seduced Bathsheba, murdered her husband and covered it all up as if it were business as usual… until the prophet Nathan confronted him (see 2 Samuel 11-12).

Our psalm records David’s penitent prayer. When we consider that the book of Psalms has been called “the Hymn Book of the Temple,” and that this intensely personal cry to God by the king was probably used in public worship, we sense something of the humility and greatness of the repentant David. It remains a model for us all, one I often have to use myself.

Much of the psalm is personal, but in verses 17-19 David laments the effect of his sin on the defenses of the people of God. Not only are his personal walls in ruins, but those of the Holy City are also broken down by his sin. They are now vulnerable to their enemies. He has failed His people.

Our King of kings never fails us. When sin impacts the walls the Lord has set up to protect us, He remains our stronghold.

Scripture Focus

Psalm 51


Am I aware of any breach in the Lord's walls due to my own sin? Do any of David's petitions fit my case?

Bible In A Year

  • Ecclesiastes 3-4
  • Psalm 64
  • John 4

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