Psalm 51:14

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 14. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness. He had been the means of the death of Uriah, the Hittite, a faithful and attached follower, and he now confesses that fact. Besides, his sin of adultery was a capital offence, and he puts himself down as one worthy to die the death. Honest penitents do not fetch a compass and confess their sins in an elegant periphrasis, but they come to the point, call a spade a spade, and make a clean breast of all. What other course is rational in dealing with the Omniscient? O God, thou God of my salvation. He had not ventured to come so near before. It had been, O God, up till now, but here he cries, Thou God of my salvation. Faith grows by the exercise of prayer. He confesses sin more plainly in this verse than before, and yet he deals with God more confidently: growing upward and downward at the same time are perfectly consistent. None but the King can remit the death penalty, it is therefore a joy to faith that God is King, and that he is the author and finisher of our salvation. And my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. One would rather have expected him to say, I will sing of thy mercy; but David can see the divine way of justification, that righteousness of God which Paul afterwards spoke of by which the ungodly are justified, and he vows to sing, yea, and to sing lustily of that righteous way of mercy. After all, it is the righteousness of divine mercy which is its greatest wonder. Note how David would preach in the last verse, and now here he would sing. We can never do too much for the Lord to whom we owe more than all. If we could be preacher, precentor, doorkeeper, pew opener, foot washer, and all in one, all would be too little to show forth all our gratitude. A great sinner pardoned makes a great singer. Sin has a loud voice, and so should our thankfulness have. We shall not sing our own praises if we be saved, but our theme will be the Lord our righteousness, in whose merits we stand righteously accepted.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 14. (first clause). Deliver me from bloods. The term bloods in Hebrew may denote any capital crime; and in my opinion he is here to be considered as alluding to the sentence of death, to which he felt himself to be obnoxious, and from which he requests deliverance. John Calvin.

Verse 14. (first clause). The Chaldee reads, Deliver me from the judgment of murder.

Verse 14. O God, thou God of my salvation. O God, is a good invocation, for he heareth prayers. Yet to distinguish him from all false gods he is so particular as to single him from all other: Thou God. And to magnify him, and to reenforce his petition, he calleth him Deum salutis, "the God of my salvation," which expresses him able to deliver him; for it is his nature, and his love, and his glory, to be a preserver of men. And to bring home this joy and comfort into his own heart, he addeth, salutis meae, "of my salvation." So it is oratio fervens, and the apostle telleth us that such a prayer prevaileth much with God. For God may be a Saviour and a deliverer, and yet we may escape his saving hand, his right hand may skip us. We can have no comfort in the favours of God, except we can apply them at home; rather we may "think on God and be troubled." Samuel Page.

Verse 14. And my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. Hierom, Basil, Euthymius, and other ancient doctors observe that natural corruptions and actual sins are the very rampiers which stop the free passage of song Psalms 51:15 . So David doth himself expound himself: Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. His lack of thankfulness did cry, his adultery cry, his murder cry unto the Lord for revenge; but alas! himself was mute, till God in exceeding great mercy did stop the mouths of his clamorous adversaries, and gave him leave to speak. John Boys.

Verse 14. Aloud. This for God, for himself, for the church.

  1. For God, that his honour may be proclaimed, therefore they borrowed the voice of still and loud instruments ...
  2. For himself. Having received such a benefit, he cannot contain himself, this new wine of spiritual joy which filleth his vessel must have a vent. All passions are loud. Anger chides loud, sorrow cries loud, fear shrieks loud, and joy sings loud. So he expresses the vehemency of his affection; for to whom much is forgiven, they love much.
  3. For others. Iron sharpens iron -- examples of zeal and devotion affect much, and therefore solemn and public assemblies do generally tender the best service to God, because one provoketh another. Samuel Page.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

None.