Study Guide – Psalm 51:1-6


1 Have mercy on me, O God,
    because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
    blot out the stain of my sins.
2 Wash me clean from my guilt.
    Purify me from my sin.
3 For I recognize my rebellion;
    it haunts me day and night.
4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
    I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
    and your judgment against me is just.
5 For I was born a sinner—
    yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
6 But you desire honesty from the womb,
    teaching me wisdom even there.


::::: Optional::::: DIGGING DEEPER: Part 1 :::::

Read 2 Samuel 12 for the context of this psalm. David wrote this psalm after his heart had been gutted by the exposure of his sin.


Why are the words of verses 1-2 important first words for David?


Is David delusional to think that he could be made clean again? Why would David ask such a thing?


Look at verse 3. What does it feel like to be "haunted" by your sin?


Describe how verses 4-5 reveal David's remorse over his sin?


Why are the words of verse 6 important for David to speak to God?



This psalm gives us a remarkable example of confession. It also gives us a remarkable example of a plea for restoration. Read John 1:9 and then take the opportunity to approach God with that kind of heart.


::::: Optional ::::: DIGGING DEEPER: Part 2 :::::

Is there any reason why a "Nathan" would need to confront you today?


Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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