No, I’m not writing about the 1950s and 1960s and yes, I was alive then!
I’m writing about 15 consecutive Psalms that King David wrote – 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65 – oops, left out 59.
The 15: The 50s & 60s Psalms!
The background of these Psalms is David’s sin with Bathsheba. In review, David saw a beautiful woman (Bathsheba), seduced her, had her husband killed, took her as his wife, and showed no remorse.
And you were feeling guilty about getting mad yesterday in the grocery store when you noticed the continued cat food shortage.
Or feeling condemned for anything that you have done in the past.
The Heroes of the Bible often have such egregious sins in their lives that those are more testimonies of God’s grace than their great deeds.
Nathan the Prophet confronted David. Instead of putting Nathan to death, King David repented of his sin. It wasn’t false repentance or I’m-sorry-because-I-was-caught regret, but deep sorrow for his sin!
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin (Psalm 51:1-2).
Though God forgave David, he still faced consequences. We read in scripture there was a fourfold consequence predicted for David’s sin with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:1-14).
Two types of fourfold trials came in David’s later years: Death to four of his sons and four other disasters.
Sons: Bathsheba’s first son, Amnon, and Absalom and Adonijah.
Disasters: Amnon’s rape of his sister; Absalom’s rebellion; a plague following David’s numbering of his people; and a plot to steal the throne from Solomon.
The 50s & 60s Psalms of David, I believe, are autobiographical in describing his latter-day trials. King David asked forgiveness, prayed through the consequences, and learned the praise that comes only through trials.
God forgave David and walked with him through all his subsequent difficulties. And God’s eternal purposes continued when King David and Bathsheba became the parents of Solomon – a forefather of Jesus.
Read Psalms 51 through 61 over a span of a week while considering the following verses enlightened by the events of King David’s later years:
Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy! (Psalm 52:1).
You have taken account of my miseries; put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book? Then my enemies will turn back on the day when I call; this I know that God is for me (Psalm 56:8-9).
God has spoken once; twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God; and faithfulness is Yours, Lord, for You reward a person according to his work (Psalm 62:11-12).
Because Your favor is better than life, my lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name (Psalm 63:3-4).
As for our offenses, You forgive them. Blessed is the one You choose and allow to approach You; He will dwell in Your courtyards. We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple (Psalm 65:3-4).
The Psalms are real-life. Nothing hidden – even sin, anger, and complaining – but everyone who seeks God, no matter their past, receives forgiveness and mercy.
Finding grace, this is the ultimate message of the 50s & 60s Psalms, and the entire Bible.