Wash me throughly - כבסני הרבה harbeh cabbeseni, "Wash me again and again, - cause my washings to be multiplied." My stain is deep; ordinary purgation will not be sufficient.
Wash me throughly from mine iniquity - literally, “Multiply to wash me.” The word rendered “throughly” is a verb, either in the infinitive or imperative mood, and suggests the idea of “multiplying” or “increasing.” The reference is to that which might need constant or repeated washings in order to remove a stain adverbially to denote intensity, or thoroughness. On the word wash as applicable to sin, see the notes at Isaiah 1:16.
And cleanse me from my sin - Remove it entirely. Make me wholly pure. See the notes at Isaiah 1:16. In what manner he hoped that this would be done is shown in the following portions of the psalm. It was -
(a) by forgiveness of the past, Psalm 51:9; and
(b) by making the heart pure and holy through the renewing and sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit, Psalm 51:10-11.
In that hour of darkest trial, David sang: Ed 165.1
“I cried unto the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me out of His holy hill. Ed 165.2
“I laid me down and slept;
I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people,
That have set themselves against me around about.” Ed 165.3
God intended the history of David's fall to serve as a warning that even those whom He has greatly blessed and favored are not to feel secure and neglect watchfulness and prayer. And thus it has proved to those who in humility have sought to learn the lesson that God designed to teach. From generation to generation thousands have thus been led to realize their own danger from the tempter's power. The fall of David, one so greatly honored by the Lord, has awakened in them distrust of self. They have felt that God alone could keep them by His power through faith. Knowing that in Him was their strength and safety, they have feared to take the first step on Satan's ground. PP 724.1
Even before the divine sentence was pronounced against David he had begun to reap the fruit of transgression. His conscience was not at rest. The agony of spirit which he then endured is brought to view in the thirty-second psalm. He says: PP 724.2
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is
Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no guile.
When I kept silence, my bones waxed old
Through my roaring all the day long.
For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me:
My moisture was changed as with the drought of summer.” PP 724.3
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord
imputeth not iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no guile.” SC 25.1
Psalm 32:1, 2. SC 25
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to
According unto the multitude of Thy tender
mercies blot out my transgressions....
For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my
sin is ever before me....
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean:
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow....
Create in me a clean heart, O God;
And renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from Thy presence;
And take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation;
And uphold me with Thy free spirit....
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, Thou
God of my salvation:
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Thy
righteousness.” SC 25.2
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 1147.2Read in context »