Students sitting outside Bockman
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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

We are hopefully reminded of our own failings when we read of David's sincere repentance for his misbehavior--and it was a pretty serious misbehavior! David wants to make sure he has his bases covered when it comes to his wrongdoing. In the first two verses of this psalm we notice that he asks for forgiveness using three different terms: transgressions, iniquity, and sin. I believe this was on purpose. Even though the words have similar meanings, each adds a different nuance to the total impression. Transgression refers to our presumptuous sin--failing to stay within the limits of what is permitted. Iniquity is more deeply rooted and suggests a premeditated choice--like David planning to seduce Bathsheba. Sin means to "miss the mark," and is the general term for anything that falls short of the glory of God. As we prepare to enter the season of Lent, we repent of all of the ways we have failed and fallen. Have mercy on me, O God!

Dear Lord, the closer we get to your glory, the more we see the need for your grace. Forgive us, renew us, restore us. For your sake. Amen.

Laurie Neill, '12
Discipleship Pastor, First Lutheran Church, Fargo, N.D.

Psalm 51:1-17 (NRSV)

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment.
5 Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.
6 You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.
15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased.
17 The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.