Scripture refers to King David as a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22)
As a young boy, David was chosen to reign over God’s kingdom. He walked with God and lived a life of great faith for many years. But David was human and he eventually failed, spiritually and morally.
Specifically, he had an affair with another man’s wife, and when she became pregnant with his child, he arranged for the death of her husband, just to hide his sin.
This is the stuff of soap operas, except we’re talking about the man after God’s own heart. Now new words were true of David.
Like me, David first tried to cover his tracks. God, on the other hand, wants more than a quick cleanup of the exterior mess our sin caused. God wanted David’s heart to be soft and repentant toward Him.
In this context, David wrote Psalm 51. David humbled himself before God and repented.
His first cry out to the God of Heaven was for MERCY. “Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love.”
Someone who knows their guilt cries out for mercy. David knew his sin was spiritual as well as physical. He had sinned against the God he loved.
“For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against You, and You alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in Your sight. You will be proved right in what You say, and Your judgment against me is just.”
How do you respond when you consider the context of Psalm 51?