Humans sin and God still works through them, go figure. In this Psalm, it’s a widely held belief that it is referring to David’s adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of Uriah – her husband, his loyal soldier.
3 Because I know my wrongdoings,
my sin is always right in front of me.
4 I’ve sinned against you—you alone.
I’ve committed evil in your sight.
That’s why you are justified when you render your verdict,
completely correct when you issue your judgment.
5 Yes, I was born in guilt, in sin,
from the moment my mother conceived me.
6 And yes, you want truth in the most hidden places;
you teach me wisdom in the most secret space.
7 Purify me with hyssop and I will be clean;
wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and celebration again;
let the bones you crushed rejoice once more.
9 Hide your face from my sins;
wipe away all my guilty deeds!
10 Create a clean heart for me, God;
put a new, faithful spirit deep inside me!
11 Please don’t throw me out of your presence;
please don’t take your holy spirit away from me.
12 Return the joy of your salvation to me
and sustain me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:3-12
I don’t know what to make of the tension that exists between our potential and our failures. The only thing I know to do is return regularly to the promise that God is bringing all this chaos together into an ultimate triumph of good over evil, love over lust. How can we participate in that work today?