“Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.” Psalm 51:4
We don’t often think of our sins as offenses against God. Rather, we see our sins as offenses against those people to whom we have done wrong or caused harm. But, truly, all our sins are sins against God, for even when we hurt others through our sins, God is offended as our Creator in that we fail to honor Him in our thoughts, words and actions, and we abuse and harm others whom He has made.
Psalm 51 was written after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and then tried to cover up his sin by having Uriah the Hittite killed in battle. Certainly, David sinned against Uriah. David first took his wife and then his life. Cf. 2 Sam. 11-12.
Yet, David could pray: “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.”
So also, it is with us. We may have offended our spouse, our parents, our children, our boss or our fellow employees, and yet we have sinned against the LORD God who created us and commanded us to love Him above all else and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
With David, we confess: “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.”
And God would be perfectly just if He were to condemn us to the eternal fires of hell for our sins against Him. He made us to love Him and serve Him but we have turned aside and become self-centered and self-serving.
It is for that reason that we join with David and believers everywhere in confessing our sins to the LORD God and asking Him to deal with us in love and mercy for the sake of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice on the cross.
“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 51:1-3).
And we know that God “is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” … because “we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 1:9; 2:1,2).
Against You, and You only, I have sinned, O God. Wash away my sins in the shed blood of Christ Jesus, Your Son and My Savior. Amen.
[Scripture quotations are from The ESV® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]