“Have Mercy upon me, O God, according to Your Lovingkindness, according to the multitude of Your tender Mercies, blot out my transgressions.”
His is thorough and eternal, while ours is always insufficient and incomplete.
“Blot out my transgressions.”
Such was David’s plea as he composed this sorrowful song of his soul. He knew he’d sinned against God (v.4) through his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba and then conspiring to have her husband killed in battle (II Sam. 11:1-25). And, that’s why his “sin was ever before him” (v.3a)—for he couldn’t forget how far he’d strayed and the horrible wrongs he’d done.
He also knew there was nothing he could do to erase those “tapes” (memories) from his mind. They haunted him day-and-night, especially since the child that was conceived and born from that adulterous tryst died only seven days after birth (II Sam. 11:26-27; 12:15-23).
But, again, nothing could stop the haunting/taunting voice of “the accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12:9-10). No amount of tears could cleanse his conscience; no amount of confessing could undo what was done. Like Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare’s play, who cried “Out damned spot! Out I say!” after conspiring to kill King Duncan, so does sin’s stain continue to remind us of our dastardly deed. Or, like Pilate after sentencing Jesus to die, no amount of self-talk or bowls of water can free us from guilt’s grip.
Only the Lord’s “tender Mercies” can do that.
And, in our case, only the Blood of Jesus, God’s new Passover Lamb, can “cleanse our conscience from dead works so we can serve the living God” (Heb. 9:14).
Yes, only Jesus’ Blood can do that. And, how thankful we should be that He was willing to go to the Cross and shed His Blood for us. Hallelujah!!
It’s significant to note that David didn’t cry out for God’s Mercy based upon his own good works or self-righteousness. Instead, he said “Have Mercy upon me, O God, according to Your Lovingkindness (Heb. ‘checed’—‘kindness, pity, favor, tender and steadfast love, etc.’), according to Your tender Mercies.”
And, so it must ever be with us, dear Pilgrim, for, again, there’s nothing we can do or offer to God that can “blot (Heb. ‘machah’—‘to erase, make smooth, abolish, destroy, cover up, etc.’) out our transgressions.” Again, only Jesus’ Blood can do that. And, thankfully, it’s that same Blood that “saves us from God’s wrath and brings us back to God through His Atonement” (Rom. 5:9-11). Glory!
That’s why, in addition to “Amazing Grace,” this old Gospel song should be one of our main theme songs: “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the Blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the Blood of Jesus. Oh, precious is that flow that makes me white as snow. No other fount I know, Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.” Amen and amen.