A Hymn to Follow Psalm 51

While reading Psalm 51 today, I was reminded of God’s incredible mercy to David. When you consider that an adulterer and murderer wrote this psalm, it makes its meaning stand out all the more. He had committed adultery with the wife of one of his most loyal soldiers, ordered the death of that soldier, and hidden his sin for about a year. It was not until Nathan the prophet confronted him that David repented of his sin. And yet… God chose to cleanse, forgive, and restore this sinful man.

“The message of this psalm is that the vilest offender among God’s people can appeal to God for forgiveness, for moral restoration, and for the resumption of a joyful life of fellowship and service, if he comes with a broken spirit and bases his appeal on God’s compassion and grace.” (Bible Knowledge Commentary Old Testament, p. 832)

But which one of us can cast a stone at David? We all have fallen short of the glory of God. And so, this psalm is something that true believers must read with humility, repentance, and joy — a strange but appropriate collection of emotions for those who understand what God had done for us through Jesus Christ. And when we experience his cleansing, we can say with David, “My tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.”

To God be the glory, great things He hath done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.

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