When you are overwhelmed in sin

Psalms Bible Background

07.27.2016 – Old Testament: Psa 51.5–6

To read the Bible in a year, read Psalms 50–52 on July 27, In the year of our Lord 2016

By Don Ruhl

David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed, then Nathan the prophet revealed to David that the Lord saw the whole thing. David loved the Lord, and nothing could devastate David more than to sin against the Lord. Therefore, when the realization of what David had done hit him, it filled his soul with grief and he cried out to God for mercy. David also explained that he was surrounded with sin and that he had begun his sin early in life,

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
(Psalm 51.5–6) 

Some people think this teaches that we are born with sin, that we are guilty of sin the moment we are born, but what David did here was like what Job said, “But from my youth I reared him as a father, and from my mother’s womb I guided the widow” (Job 31.18), or like what David said of the wicked in Psalm 58, “The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies” (Psalm 58.3).

The wicked do not speak the moment they come from the womb, and Job did not start taking care of widows shortly after his birth, but in all three of these passages, the writer or speaker emphasized that early they started doing something.

However, none of this excuses David’s sin, but he knew how his heart often went astray, even starting at a young age, and it broke him up to think about it.


  • How does your sin affect you?
  • Do you speak to God about it?

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