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Psalm 51-53

Supplemental notes for the Daily Bible Study Bible Reading Plan

by Wayne Blank

Psalm Chapter 51

Some of the Psalms are very specific as to who wrote them and why, but the words expressed are universal to the sinfulness, and hopefully, the repentance of humanity.


"To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan The Prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy steadfast love; according to Thy abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in Thy sight, so that Thou art justified in Thy sentence and blameless in Thy judgment [see When Will You Be Judged?]. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, Thou desirest truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom [see God's Wisdom] in my secret heart.

Purge me with Hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me [see Living Waters], and I shall be whiter than snow. Fill me with joy and gladness; let the bones which Thou hast broken rejoice. Hide Thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy holy Spirit from me [see also The Holy Ghost and The Holy Spirit]. Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors Thy ways, and sinners will return to Thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness [see Why Blood?], O God, Thou God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of Thy deliverance. O Lord, open Thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise. For Thou hast no delight in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, Thou wouldst not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.

Do good to Zion [see Zionism] in Thy good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, then wilt Thou delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on Thy altar." (Psalm 51:1-19 RSV)

Psalm Chapter 52

The Psalms are also a historical record of specific events, such as David's experience with the treachery of Doeg the Edomite.


"To the choirmaster. A Maskil of David, when Doeg, the Edomite, came and told Saul, "David has come to the house of Ahimelech." [see The Civil War]

Why do you boast, O mighty man, of mischief done against the godly? All the day you are plotting destruction. Your tongue is like a sharp razor, you worker of treachery. You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking the truth. [Selah]

You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue. But God will break you down for ever; He will snatch and tear you from your tent; He will uproot you from the land of the living. [Selah]

The righteous shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him, saying, "See the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and sought refuge in his wealth!"

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God for ever and ever. I will thank Thee for ever, because Thou hast done it. I will proclaim Thy name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly." (Psalm 52:1-9 RSV)

Psalm Chapter 53

Although all humans, "good" and "bad," are sinners (ironically, it's a sin to claim to be without sin i.e. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." 1 John 1:8-10 RSV), Christian Living is about living a life as a repentant sinner.

The Ten Commandments

"To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath. A Maskil of David.

The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none that does good.

God looks down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any that are wise, that seek after God. They have all fallen away; they are all alike depraved; there is none that does good, no, not one.

Have those who work evil no understanding, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon God? There they are, in great terror, in terror such as has not been! For God will scatter the bones of the ungodly; they will be put to shame, for God has rejected them.

O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion! When God restores the fortunes of His people, Jacob will rejoice and Israel be glad." (Psalm 53:1-6 RSV)

Fact Finder: Through whom and by whom did God create all things?
See Christ The Creator

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