Psalms Chapter 51:16-19

Psalms Chapter 51: Verses: 16-19

(Unless otherwise cited all the scriptural references in this devotional are from the King James Version of the Bible).


David pleas to God for the forgiveness of his sin. This psalm appears to be about David’s most memorable sin. His sin with Bathsheba.  Psalm 51 is written after Nathan the prophet visits David to pronounce God’s judgment on the king because of the murder of Uriah and all of his men 2 Sam. 12.  

Verses 16– 17 Begin with the implication that God is asking His people If he did, then the psalmist would bring one. Instead of animal sacrifice, God desires a broken and contrite heart, that is, a heart saddened by sin and ready to disown it and turn away from it.

16For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. 17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Verses 16– 17 begins with the implication that God is asking His people to offer sacrifices to Him.

This is a common error of the early church. People would conduct self-flagellation as a type of religious experience that indicated piety. Some people believe that they must give almost all of their salary to their religious organization for them to be righteous. Some Muslims believe that killing “infidels”  will result in them receiving much favor from Allah.

It does not matter what religious affiliation we belong to humans do not understand this one thing. God only wants his children to have “broken and a contrite heart.” But what does a “broken and a contrite heart mean? It basically says that people with a broken and a contrite heart are willing to do what God asks them to do in His holy word. They are not looking for excuses as to why they should not do it. Tithing is one of the biggest misnomers in Christiandom. We make all sorts of excuses why we should not be given on a regular basis to God’s work. The following is an excerpt from a blog posting on this principle.

What is the Tithe?

The word “tithe” comes from an Old English root meaning “one tenth.” It is the common English translation for the Old Testament Hebrew asar word group. The tithe was an offering of one’s agricultural income to the Lord as an expression of thanks and dedication. In the Old Testament agricultural economy, tithes were paid not in cash, gold or goods but in crops or livestock, for only the agricultural fruit of the promised land was to be tithed—not other forms of income. Although today we commonly think of the tithe as “10 percent” as a result, apparently there are three tithes in the Old Testament, two every year and a third every third year, or an average of 23.3 percent of one’s annual produce from the land. There was also provision for freewill offerings and personal giving above and beyond the tithe, so that the tithe never stood alone. Tithes were given by the patriarchs Abraham (Genesis 4:17-20) and Jacob (Genesis 28:22); a system of tithes was instituted in the law of God given through Moses (Deuteronomy 12Deuteronomy 14Deuteronomy 26; and the prophets rebuked the children of Israel for failing to give the tithe to God (Malachi 3:8). Read the rest of this article here. On a personal note, I will say that there is no such thing as being too poor to tithe. Why?

Here are some biblical examples.

The Widow’s Offering Mark 12:41-44  (NIV)

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

New Testament References about giving. The NT does not address “a tithe” as a specific amount. It does address giving.  Matthew 6:21 says “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  When we are able to give 10% or more of our income instead of keeping that money for ourselves, it shows that our heart isn’t tied to our money and that we love God more than our money. In 2013 my financial world was turned upside down. I became too ill a full-time job. I was forced into retirement early. I do remember giving, not just o my local church but to other endeavors that support kingdom work. Was it because I expected God to give me something in return? No, I felt that he had blessed me so much that I could give to this ministry’s Facebook endeavors by supporting others who were working with us in reaching others, by establishing relationships with them. They needed tools to carry out that job. Now that I am on a very limited income, I still give. Not as much as I was able to give, but I give none the less. God does not need our money. He just wants to see where our treasure is.  It takes a broken and a contrite heart to give of our best to the work of God.  It should not be a once in a blue moon event either. It should be consistent. Can you imagine what would happen to churches all over the world if people gave “when they felt” like it? Even more doors would be closing. It is a malady that is an international one. It takes a broken and a contrite heart to see outside of one’s circumstances to serve God and to trust him to give for us. He does not want penance, nor sporadically deciding when we will give of our best to Him and His work. Sometimes it will take a lot of faith to continue giving. But are we not called to walk by faith? The New Testament actually tells us to give of our abundance, not just a tithe.

What and how much we give is determined by how “broken and contrite”  our hearts are.

18Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. 

During the time of David’s reign, there was nothing wrong with the walls of Jerusalem. Longman has an explanation for this verse, “It is possible, if not likely, that these verses were added later in the history of Israel, perhaps during the exilic or post-exilic period. That may be why sacrifice is mentioned. The restoration of the city means that that the destroyed temple would be rebuilt and the offering of sacrifices could begin again, to God’s great delight” (Longman 2014, 223). In an NT context, the church is the spiritual house of God. and its walls are salvation (offered to all who will listen to the call of the Holy Spirit). The new Jerusalem will have special walls. “It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel” (Rev. 21:12 NIV). God’s people will not have to worry about re-building walls there.

19Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

This verse is challenging to many. What does David mean when he says “then?” Could he be looking forward to a time when the ultimate sacrifice of the ONLY righteous one, Jesus Christ, would give His life for sinful mankind? Or is he looking inward and voicing the fact that ritual sacrifices and celebrations are meaningless to God? God wants us to worship him in spirit and in truth. The only way we can do that is with a repentance attitude and a broken and contrite heart. 

Psalms Chapter 51: Verses 11-15

Psalms Chapter 51: Verses 11-15

(Unless otherwise cited all the scriptural references in this devotional are from the King James Version of the Bible).


The psalmist’s appeal to God for forgiveness of his sins is one of the most memorable in the book, due, perhaps in part, to the historical title (see Introduction) that situates its composition by David after Nathan the prophet confronted him about his sin with Bathsheba (2 Sam. 12). While the words of this prayer fit that occasion well, we should note that nowhere is this particular historical event mentioned specifically, indicating that the poem was written not to memorialize that moment, but to serve as a model prayer for others coming later who find themselves in similar, though not identical, circumstances (Longman 2014, 2018).

11Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

When one is cast away from the presence of God they are separated from Him for eternity.  In 1 Sam. 16:14 we read that the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul because he was disobedient to Him. “But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.” King David was aware of this, and he did not want that to happen to him. 1 Sam. 16:13 informs us that when the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, God placed His spirit in David. “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.”  David knew that his sin with Bathsheba “grieved” the Holy Spirit. 1 Thess. 5:19 advises us that when we sin it  “[Quenches] the Spirit] and we are reminded that we should not “Quench … the Spirit.” David was praying that the holy spirit would not be taken from him. He knew that he completely relied on the Holy Spirit to keep him connected to God. The Holy Spirit was with him from the time he was a child. I Samuel 17:49 “And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.”

12Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

David is dreading the probability that the Holy Spirit will no longer be his guide, confidant, and giver of joy. The sin he had committed cause him to experiences joylessness.

When Christians sin, they are fearful that they will grieve the Holy Spirit (See this devotional about grieving the Holy Spirit). When we create situations that undermine others we are committing a sin. It grieves the heart of God when His children are vindictive to each other. It grieves Him, even more, than we know. The Holy Spirit is a gift from God. It is pure and holy. It cannot stand to be in a place where sin is a continual way of life.

David wants to renew his relationship with God. He wants to “restore” the relationship he had with God. He want to retore the relationship of joy and rejoicing. This verse is a plea to God to forgive David so he can once again 

13Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

One of the things that we do not focus on today is the fact that it is our job as Christians to “teach” trangressors” His ways. David knows what forgiveness feels like. As such, he can tell others about what how this feels like. When he does this, he knows that “”sinners” will be converted, I do not understand why someone would refuse to tell a sinner about the grace and peace that they have received from God. David also knows that he does not change a sinners mind. Only the Holy Spirit does the calling. He can share his recommitment to the Lord. 

Conversion has a commitment level that many people are not willing to enact in their lives. But Luke 22:32 clearly tells us what God expects from us.  “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”

14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

Once again we see that David is addressing the egregious sin that he committed. The word “bloodguiltiness” shows that he is talking about the murder of Uriah. (Read 2 Samuel 11 for the background of this story). David knew the process that would result in his “tongue” singing God’s praises. When we sin, and we all sin everyday-contrary to what people may post in social media, we need to repent of the sin, acknowledge the sin, and ask then ask God to be merciful to us. Rom. 4:6 reminds us that David knew about God’s righteousness “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,” We do not believe that works make us righteous.

We are saved by the grace of God. But grace does not give us a license to sin habitually. Romans 6:1 clear us the misconception that we can speak as we wish. Defile our thoughts with curse words and think that it is ok. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sinthat grace may abound?” Isa. 61:10 tells us why David, and us, should be rejoicing “ I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” I am so thankful that I have justification by faith. I am also thankful that, like a child who has done something that they should not have done, I can go to my heavenly Father for forgiveness, and He will give it to me. 

15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

There is a joy that floods the soul of a believer who has received forgiveness. That joy is also present at the end of a prayer. Sometimes it occurs during a prayer. Have you ever been in prayer about something only to find yourself singing a praise song? It happens to me frequently. When we consider that we have these psalms because David was praying and he wrote these hymns as a musical rendition of a prayer, then we know that it is ok for us to worship in song while worshipping in prayer.


Longman, Tremper, III. 2014. Psalms : An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. Accessed November 26, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.

Cayce 2014, Book of Psalms. Psalms Chapter 51: Verses 11-15:


#Thankful #RejoiceandPraiseHim #Thanksgiving #HisGoodness
Thankfulness Psalms 101

” data-hasqtip=”0″ aria-describedby=”qtip-0″>Psalm 100:4 “Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise Give thanks to Him, bless His name.”

  • Verse page
  • ” data-hasqtip=”1″>Psalm 100:4-5 “For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.”

  • Psalm 68:19 ” Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation. Selah.
  • Psalm 106:1 “Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
  • Psalm 116:12-14 “What shall I render to the LORD For all His benefits toward me? I shall lift up the cup of salvation And call upon the name of the LORD. I shall pay my vows to the LORD, Oh may it be in the presence of all His people.”
  • Psalm 136:1-26 “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Give thanks to the God of gods, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. read more.
  • Psalm 35:9-10 “And my soul shall rejoice in the LORD; It shall exult in His salvation. All my bones will say, “LORD, who is like You, Who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him, And the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him?”
  • Psalm 31:7-8 “I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness, Because You have seen my affliction; You have known the troubles of my soul, And You have not given me over into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet in a large place.”
  • Psalm 44:6-8
  • For I will not trust in my bow, Nor will my sword save me. But You have saved us from our adversaries, And You have put to shame those who hate us. In God we have boasted all day long, And we will give thanks to Your name forever. Selah.
  • Psalm 66:8-9 
  • Bless our God, O peoples, And sound His praise abroad, Who keeps us in life And does not allow our feet to slip.
  • Psalm 103:1-5 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases;”
  • Psalm 105:1-45 Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; Speak of all His wonders. Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
  • Psalm 30:1-12 “I will extol You, O LORD, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my enemies rejoice over me. O LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me. O LORD, You have brought up my soul from Sheol; You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.”
  • Psalm 66:16-20 “Come and hear, all who fear God, And I will tell of what He has done for my soul. I cried to Him with my mouth, And He was extolled with my tongue. If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear; “
  • Psalm 138:1-5 “I will give You thanks with all my heart; I will sing praises to You before the gods. I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name. On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul.
  • Psalm 147:7-9 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; Sing praises to our God on the lyre, Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who provides rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains. He gives to the beast its food, And to the young ravens which cry.
  • Psalm 69:30 “I will praise the name of God with song And magnify Him with thanksgiving.”
  • Psalm 95:2 “ Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.”
  • Psalm 96:1 ” Sing to the LORD a new song; Sing to the LORD, all the earth.
  • Psalm 27:6 “And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.”
  • Psalm 92:1-3 “It is good to give thanks to the LORD And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning And Your faithfulness by night, With the ten-stringed lute and with the harp, With resounding music upon the lyre.”
  • Psalm 149:3 “Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre.”
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