“Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts; And in the hidden part thou wilt make me to know wisdom. Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness, That the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, And blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; And renew a right spirit within me,” (Psalm 51:6-10 ASV).
King David had sinned. He had sinned by taking Bathsheba after lust found conception in his heart (James 1:14-15). He added sin to sin when he had Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, killed on the battlefield (2 Samuel 11). Then, King David lied and attempted to keep the sins concealed.
He could not, however, conceal his sins from his own mind, neither could he conceal his sins from the people, and he certainly could not hide them from God. The text of Psalm 51 shows in graphic detail how the king’s sins had made him feel foul and loathsome because that’s what sin does.
David asked God for a clean heart and a right spirit. Sin destroys any cleanness of a person’s conscience. As demonstrated in David’s life, sin stamps out a right spirit and, instead, replicates itself until the entire mind is enslaved to it.
The only cure for sin is to turn from it in repentance and, as the king did in 2 Samuel 12, admit its existence in confession.
Unless we take steps to stop it, sin will continue to create more sins, just like bacteria reproduce and infect the body until an antibiotic is found to stop the process. The antibiotic for sin is obedience to the gospel of Christ.
The king was broken by sin, yet he was forgiven. The words of a hymn tell us, “Bring Christ your broken life, so marred by sin. He will create a new, make whole again.” This was precisely what David requested: “Create in me a clean heart, oh God; and renew a right spirit within me.”