New International Reader's Version

Psalm 51

Psalm 51

For the director of music. A psalm of David when the prophet Nathan came to him. Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

God, have mercy on me
    according to your faithful love.
Because your love is so tender and kind,
    wipe out my lawless acts.
Wash away all the evil things I’ve done.
    Make me pure from my sin.

I know the lawless acts I’ve committed.
    I can’t forget my sin.
You are the one I’ve really sinned against.
    I’ve done what is evil in your sight.
So you are right when you sentence me.
    You are fair when you judge me.
I know I’ve been a sinner ever since I was born.
    I’ve been a sinner ever since my mother became pregnant with me.
I know that you wanted faithfulness even when I was in my mother’s body.
    You taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Sprinkle me with hyssop, then I will be clean.
    Wash me, then I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear you say, “Your sins are forgiven.”
    That will bring me joy and gladness.
    Let the body you have broken be glad.
Take away all my sins.
    Wipe away all the evil things I’ve done.

10 God, create a pure heart in me.
    Give me a new spirit that is faithful to you.
11 Don’t send me away from you.
    Don’t take your Holy Spirit away from me.
12 Give me back the joy that comes from being saved by you.
    Give me a spirit that obeys you so that I will keep going.

13 Then I will teach your ways to those who commit lawless acts.
    And sinners will turn back to you.
14 You are the God who saves me.
    I have committed murder.
    God, take away my guilt.
Then my tongue will sing about how right you are
    no matter what you do.
15 Lord, open my lips so that I can speak.
    Then my mouth will praise you.
16 You don’t take delight in sacrifice.
    If you did, I would bring it.
    You don’t take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 The greatest sacrifice you want is a broken spirit.
    God, you will gladly accept a heart
    that is broken because of sadness over sin.

18 May you be pleased to give Zion success.
    May it please you to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of those who do what is right.
    Whole burnt offerings will bring delight to you.
    And bulls will be offered on your altar.

The Message

Psalm 51

A David Psalm, After He Was Confronted by Nathan About the Affair with Bathsheba

11-3 Generous in love—God, give grace!
    Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
    soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I’ve been;
    my sins are staring me down.

4-6 You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen
    it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;
    whatever you decide about me is fair.
I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,
    in the wrong since before I was born.
What you’re after is truth from the inside out.
    Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.

7-15 Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,
    scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
    set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don’t look too close for blemishes,
    give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
    shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash,
    or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
    put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
    so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
    and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
    I’ll let loose with your praise.

16-17 Going through the motions doesn’t please you,
    a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
    when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
    don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.

18-19 Make Zion the place you delight in,
    repair Jerusalem’s broken-down walls.
Then you’ll get real worship from us,
    acts of worship small and large,
Including all the bulls
    they can heave onto your altar!