Psalm 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.


When David chose to take Bathsheba to himself, he sinned against the Lord. Sometime thereafter, the Lord began to work in David’s heart convincing him of his wrongdoing. David described this painful process as something like having his bones broken (Psalm 51:8). The convicting work of God confirmed David’s “bloodguiltiness” (Psalm 51:14). It assured him that he had sinned against God and needed to repent. This conviction brought great fear to David’s heart (Psalm 51:11). At the same time, this conviction led David to acknowledge his transgressions (Psalm 51:3), seek God’s mercy (Psalm 51:1), and ask God to renew a right spirit within him (Psalm 51:10).


• (For children): David sinned in numbering the people rather than remembering that God was the source of his strength. Afterward, his heart smote him. He confessed his sin and was willing to take full responsibility for his transgressions (2 Samuel 24:10, 17).
• (For everyone): Do you remember any time in your life when you sinned against God and He immediately began working in your heart to show you that you needed to repent?
• David likened conviction to bones being broken. To what would you liken conviction? How does it drive you to repent and get things right with the Lord and with others?


• Thank the Lord for working with you when you sin.
• Ask God to help conviction lead you to repentance.