For the music director; a psalm of David, written when Nathan the prophet confronted him after David’s affair with Bathsheba.
51:1 Have mercy on me, O God, because of your loyal love!
Because of your great compassion, wipe away my rebellious acts!
51:2 Wash away my wrongdoing!
Cleanse me of my sin!
51:3 For I am aware of my rebellious acts;
I am forever conscious of my sin.
51:4 Against you – you above all – I have sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
So you are just when you confront me;
you are right when you condemn me.
51:5 Look, I was guilty of sin from birth,
a sinner the moment my mother conceived me.
51:6 Look, you desire integrity in the inner man;
you want me to possess wisdom.
51:7 Sprinkle me with water and I will be pure;
wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
51:8 Grant me the ultimate joy of being forgiven!
May the bones you crushed rejoice!
51:9 Hide your face from my sins!
Wipe away all my guilt!
51:10 Create for me a pure heart, O God!
Renew a resolute spirit within me!
51:11 Do not reject me!
Do not take your Holy Spirit away from me!
51:12 Let me again experience the joy of your deliverance!
Sustain me by giving me the desire to obey!
51:13 Then I will teach rebels your merciful ways,
and sinners will turn to you.
51:14 Rescue me from the guilt of murder, O God, the God who delivers me!
Then my tongue will shout for joy because of your deliverance.
51:15 O Lord, give me the words!
Then my mouth will praise you.
51:16 Certainly you do not want a sacrifice, or else I would offer it;
you do not desire a burnt sacrifice.
51:17 The sacrifices God desires are a humble spirit –
O God, a humble and repentant heart you will not reject.
51:18 Because you favor Zion, do what is good for her!
Fortify the walls of Jerusalem!
51:19 Then you will accept the proper sacrifices, burnt sacrifices and whole offerings;
then bulls will be sacrificed on your altar.