Conviction, Contrition, and Community

With three synonyms (“transgressions,” “iniquity,” and “sin”), David confesses the totality of his sin. He no longer hides what could never be hidden. Great is David’s sin but not greater than the forgiveness of the self-revealed One, who is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ex. 34:6). David does not offer to work for a wage but to be given grace, knowing that his sin is before him (and everyone else who has ever read this psalm). His prayer is not that his sin be blotted out of human history, but that by God’s grace it would be forgiven. And so it was. Such is the merciful forgiveness of God.

The Grace of Discipline

David was a man after God’s own heart and yet was guilty of adultery and murder. The Lord chose David to be king, anointed him to serve, established his kingdom, promised a perpetual throne, and yet allowed the rebellion of David’s son, Absalom, to threaten it all. The rise and fall and rise again story of David is a familiar one, partly because of the historical record but also the poetic. We know what happened, but we also know how it felt. The story is recorded in 2 Samuel, and the third psalm accompanies it, as David wrote it during Absalom’s attempted coup.  The third is a short psalm that describes the Lord’s salvation of David from his foes amidst the turmoil of a civil war. What the specific account in 2 Samuel and the third psalm do not reveal is that the rebellion was in fulfillment of what God promised.