In 2 Samuel 11 we learn of David’s adultery. As David strolls about the top of his palace he sees Bathsheba bathing on her roof. He stares lustfully at her and asks one of his servants to find out who she is. Upon finding out that her husband is gone David gives in to his desires and sends for her. The sleep together and she becomes pregnant.
David trying to cover up his sin calls for her husband Uriah. David thinks that Uriah will go home and sleep with his wife and believe that he is the father of the child. But Uriah is more honorable than David and refuses to go to his wife, when all the other men are still away at war. So David plots his death, orders his generals to set it up, and then brought Bathsheba to him as his wife.
So Nathan comes to David and tells him a parable of a poor man who has nothing but one little sheep, he raised it from a baby lamb. It eats with him, sleeps with him and he treats it as a daughter. But there is a rich man with many cattle and many sheep in this town. This rich man gets a visit from a traveler and instead of killing one of his own sheep for the meal, he steals the poor mans lamb and kills it.
David burns with anger. He says this man must pay for this lamb and must die, because he shows no pity! As David stews in his anger at this injustice, Nathan says “you are that man!” Realization of his sin sinks in as David drops to his knees broken and repentative.
David looks at Nathan and says “I have sinned against the Lord.” David could have said “If she hadn’t been on bathing on her roof this wouldn’t have happened.”
He could have blamed Uriah for not sleeping with her when he gave him the chance. David said “I have sinned against the Lord”
Then David went into prayer and as you read Psalm 51 notice how David takes all the blame on himself. He admits his sin. He asks God to forgive him and cleanse him. He declares that God is right in his judgment.
In Psalm 51:17 He says my sacrifice is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart. God does not want a ritual or for us to put on an act of sorrow. God wants us to realize our sin and for our hearts to be grieved over failing him. He wants us to realize our brokenness and call on Jesus to save us from it. Only through Jesus can we find that relief from our guilt (v.14). Only thorough Jesus can we be cleansed of our sins( v.7).
Adam and Eve tried to pass the blame for their sins off on others. David shows us how we should accept the blame ourselves.
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 that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.
5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;
you teach me wisdom in the inmost 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,
and sinners will turn back to you.
14 Save me from bloodguilt, O God,
the God who saves me,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
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 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.
18 In your good pleasure make Zion prosper;
build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then there will be righteous sacrifices,
whole burnt offerings to delight you;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.