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Psalms 51:15

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

O Lord, open thou my lips - My heart is believing unto righteousness; give me thy peace, that my tongue may make confession unto salvation. He could not praise God for pardon till he felt that God had pardoned him; then his lips would be opened, and his tongue would show forth the praise of his Redeemer.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

O Lord, open thou my lips - That is, by taking away my guilt; by giving me evidence that my sins are forgiven; by taking this burden from me, and filling my heart with the joy of pardon. The original word is in the future tense, but the meaning is well expressed in our common translation. There was, in fact, at the same time a confident expectation that God “would” thus open his lips, and a desire that he should do it.

And my mouth shall show forth thy praise - Or, I will praise thee. Praise is the natural expression of the feelings when the sense of sin is removed.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Purge me with hyssop, with the blood of Christ applied to my soul by a lively faith, as the water of purification was sprinkled with a bunch of hyssop. The blood of Christ is called the blood of sprinkling, Heb 12:24. If this blood of Christ, which cleanses from all sin, cleanse us from our sin, then we shall be clean indeed, Heb 10:2. He asks not to be comforted, till he is first cleansed; if sin, the bitter root of sorrow, be taken away, he can pray in faith, Let me have a well-grounded peace, of thy creating, so that the bones broken by convictions may rejoice, may be comforted. Hide thy face from my sins; blot out all mine iniquities out of thy book; blot them out, as a cloud is blotted out and dispelled by the beams of the sun. And the believer desires renewal to holiness as much as the joy of salvation. David now saw, more than ever, what an unclean heart he had, and sadly laments it; but he sees it is not in his own power to amend it, and therefore begs God would create in him a clean heart. When the sinner feels this change is necessary, and reads the promise of God to that purpose, he begins to ask it. He knew he had by his sin grieved the Holy Spirit, and provoked him to withdraw. This he dreads more than anything. He prays that Divine comforts may be restored to him. When we give ourselves cause to doubt our interest in salvation, how can we expect the joy of it? This had made him weak; he prays, I am ready to fall, either into sin or into despair, therefore uphold me with thy Spirit. Thy Spirit is a free Spirit, a free Agent himself, working freely. And the more cheerful we are in our duty, the more constant we shall be to it. What is this but the liberty wherewith Christ makes his people free, which is contrasted with the yoke of bondage? Ga 5:1. It is the Spirit of adoption spoken to the heart. Those to whom God is the God of salvation, he will deliver from guilt; for the salvation he is the God of, is salvation from sin. We may therefore plead with him, Lord, thou art the God of my salvation, therefore deliver me from the dominion of sin. And when the lips are opened, what should they speak but the praises of God for his forgiving mercy?
Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 3 (EGW), 1147

O that we might have a consuming desire to know God by an experimental knowledge, to come into the audience chamber of the Most High, reaching up the hand of faith, and casting our helpless souls upon the One mighty to save. His loving kindness is better than life (Manuscript 38, 1905). 3BC 1147.1

1-17. The Way Back to God—I present before you the fifty-first psalm, a psalm filled with precious lessons. From it we may learn what course to follow if we have departed from the Lord. To the king of Israel, exalted and honored, the Lord sent a message of reproof by His prophet. David confessed his sin and humbled his heart, declaring God to be just in all His dealings [Psalm 51:1-17 quoted] (Manuscript 147, 1903). 3BC 1147.2

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 3 (EGW), 1147

O that we might have a consuming desire to know God by an experimental knowledge, to come into the audience chamber of the Most High, reaching up the hand of faith, and casting our helpless souls upon the One mighty to save. His loving kindness is better than life (Manuscript 38, 1905). 3BC 1147.1

1-17. The Way Back to God—I present before you the fifty-first psalm, a psalm filled with precious lessons. From it we may learn what course to follow if we have departed from the Lord. To the king of Israel, exalted and honored, the Lord sent a message of reproof by His prophet. David confessed his sin and humbled his heart, declaring God to be just in all His dealings [Psalm 51:1-17 quoted] (Manuscript 147, 1903). 3BC 1147.2

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Ellen G. White
Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 88-9

God has not allowed much said in his word to extol the virtues of the best men that have lived upon the earth. All their victories, and great and good works, were ascribed to God. He alone was to receive the glory, he alone to be exalted. He was all and in all. Man was only an agent, a feeble instrument in his hands. The power and excellence was all of God. God saw in man a continual disposition to depart from, and to forget him, and worship the creature, instead of the Creator. Therefore God would not suffer much in the praise of man to be left upon the pages of sacred history. 4aSG 88.1

David repented of his sin in dust and ashes. He entreated the forgiveness of God, and concealed not his repentance from the great men, and even servants of his kingdom. He composed a penitential Psalm, recounting his sin and repentance, which Psalm he knew would be sung by after generations. He wished others to be instructed by the sad history of his life. 4aSG 88.2

The songs which David composed were sung by all Israel, especially in the presence of the assembled court, and before priests, elders and lords. He knew that the confession of his guilt would bring his sins to the notice of other generations. He presents his case, showing in whom was his trust and hope for pardon. “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness; according to the multitude of thy mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation.” 4aSG 88.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 177

The sin of evilspeaking begins with the cherishing of evil thoughts. Guile includes impurity in all its forms. An impure thought tolerated, an unholy desire cherished, and the soul is contaminated, its integrity compromised. “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” If we would not commit sin, we must shun its very beginnings. Every emotion and desire must be held in subjection to reason and conscience. Every unholy thought must be instantly repelled. To your closet, followers of Christ. Pray in faith and with all the heart. Satan is watching to ensnare your feet. You must have help from above if you would escape his devices. 5T 177.1

By faith and prayer all may meet the requirements of the gospel. No man can be forced to transgress. His own consent must be first gained; the soul must purpose the sinful act before passion can dominate over reason or iniquity triumph over conscience. Temptation, however strong, is never an excuse for sin. “The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers.” Cry unto the Lord, tempted soul. Cast yourself, helpless, unworthy, upon Jesus, and claim His very promise. The Lord will hear. He knows how strong are the inclinations of the natural heart, and He will help in every time of temptation. 5T 177.2

Have you fallen into sin? Then without delay seek God for mercy and pardon. When David was convicted of his sin, he poured out his soul in penitence and humiliation before God. He felt that he could endure the loss of his crown, but he could not be deprived of the favor of God. Mercy is still extended to the sinner. The Lord is calling to us in all our wanderings: “Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.” The blessing of God may be ours if we will heed the pleading voice of His Spirit. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.” 5T 177.3

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