The best word NOT in Psalm 51
There are so many great and wonderful words and phrases in this marvelous psalm of confession, repentance, forgiveness and restoration. But the greatest word is perhaps NOT even in this psalm. Here are the words included:
“Wash me/ cleanse me”
“Create in me”
“Renew a steadfast spirit within me”
“Restore to me”
The word “Then” is not even in verse 13 in the original language, but is inserted in most English translations, but I think it is possibly the greatest implied word in all of the Bible. If a word is italicized in NKJV/KJV translations, it generally means the word is implied but not directly stated. “Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.”
The reason why I say that the word “then” is perhaps the greatest word NOT in this psalm is because David’s sins were not merely limited to David. The consequences of his sins, and our sins, extend far beyond us. David sinned against his people by not going out to war, against Uriah and Bathsheba, against his own family with consequences which would plague him even past his death, and against the child conceived by their union and the subsequent death of that child. Therefore, David’s restoration must also extend beyond himself.
As marvelous as David’s forgiveness, cleansing, purging, restoration and renewal, the most ultimate importance of all of those things is that verse which starts off with “then” and continues in stating that others may fear when they saw the great consequences of sin.
Good men are going to fall, hopefully not as greatly as David did, but the greatest of all things about this psalm is God is NEVER finished with us. God can still “hit a straight lick with a crooked stick.” Sinners can be converted and believers can “learn not to blaspheme” (1 Tim. 1:20) when they see God’s judgment as well as his restoration of even someone after his own heart like David.
Jesus said, “as many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent” (Rev. 3:19). The writer of Hebrews said, “For whom the Lord loves, He chastens” (Heb. 12:6).
God loves us the way we are, but He also loves us too much to leave us the way we are.