For the director of music. A psalm of David when the prophet Nathan came to David after David’s sin with Bathsheba.
51 God, be merciful to me because you are loving. Because you are always ready to be merciful, wipe out all my wrongs. 2 Wash away all my guilt and make me clean again.
3 I know about my wrongs, and I can’t forget my sin. 4 You are the only one I have sinned against; I have done what you say is wrong. You are right when you speak and fair when you judge. 5 I was brought into this world in sin. In sin my mother gave birth to me.
6 You want me to be completely truthful, so teach me wisdom. 7 Take away my sin, and I will be clean. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Make me hear sounds of joy and gladness; let the bones you crushed be happy again. 9 Turn your face from my sins and wipe out all my guilt.
10 Create in me a pure heart, God, and make my spirit right again. 11 Do not send me away from you or take your Holy Spirit away from me. 12 Give me back the joy of your salvation. Keep me strong by giving me a willing spirit. 13 Then I will teach your ways to those who do wrong, and sinners will turn back to you.
14 God, save me from the guilt of murder, God of my salvation, and I will sing about your goodness. 15 Lord, let me speak so I may praise you. 16 You are not pleased by sacrifices, or I would give them. You don’t want burnt offerings. 17 The sacrifice God wants is a broken spirit. God, you will not reject a heart that is broken and sorry for sin.
18 Do whatever good you wish for Jerusalem. Rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will be pleased with right sacrifices and whole burnt offerings, and bulls will be offered on your altar.
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