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Merciful

Read: Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. (v. 1)

I used to picture God like the Lincoln Memorial—a huge stone face peering down at me from his lofty throne with a look that said, “I expected better of you.” Any dumb decision, selfish action, or hurtful words I said would reverberate through my mind telling me God was disgusted with me. And he certainly is disgusted with my sins—but not with me.

King David composed Psalm 51 sometime after Nathan the prophet rebuked him for committing adultery with Bathsheba, getting her pregnant, and then killing her husband to try and cover it up. Previously, David had been described as “a man after his [God’s] own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14). I imagine David, knowing he had made a conscious decision to sin, felt much like I’ve felt when I’ve grieved God with my sin—small and filthy. But David knew God’s heart and appealed to his steadfast love and mercy to blot out his sins. And, unlike a stone statue chiseled to project a stern attitude, God showed David his steadfast love and mercy.

Jesus blotted out our transgressions by his death on the cross. When we believe this and respond to God’s merciful steadfast love for us and ask him to reign in our lives, he forgives our sins and gives us new life. We can approach him, not like a stone statue, but as the loving father he is. —Donna Harold

As you pray, respond to God’s merciful steadfast love for you and accept God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, his Son.

About the Author

Donna Harold

Donna M. Harold is retired from a career in accounting and consulting and lives in Tampa, Florida, with her husband and two cats. She serves as treasurer for her church, creates and facilitates Bible studies, and enjoys writing, mosaicking, and quilting.

This entry is part 7 of 14 in the series God's Steadfast Love