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 (ESV)
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. PSALM 51:4 (NIV)
Read Full Passage HERE
When I first read this verse, I was confused. When David says, “Against you only have I sinned,” he is referring to his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah. So for him to say he sinned only against God tripped me up. In essence, while David sinned against Uriah and Bathsheba, he primarily sinned against God. To understand this, we must remember that you and I are created in God’s image. To violate the body of another via adultery or murder is to violate the image of God Himself.
This is an important truth to remember in our walks of obedience to Christ. Every time we sin, we aren’t doing wrong only to others but to God first and foremost. Sin isn’t isolated to the person or place that it was done. We sin against God because we are breaking the order of His original will that has been continually violated by man’s sinful heart since the beginning.
Additionally, I think a format in David’s repentance here would benefit us to replicate in our own lives. David confessed, then glorified. David quickly pivots the focus off of himself and onto God. It is easy, when we sin, to get caught in a cycle of wallowing in our sin and become self-loathing, or caught in cycles of shame. It becomes easier to reflect on a life, moment, or even testimony marked by sin more than one marked by God and His grace. But here, David recognizes his rebellious actions and then praises God for His commands and righteous judgment. Despite our sin, God will be glorified. He can take what we meant for evil and use it for His good and glorious purpose. For the believer, our sin, or the evil in the world is never the final word, the grace of Christ is.
Take some time to meditate on this powerful truth. Think not only of your sin but how it has brought you back to the fold of God, and how he might have used your brokenness, ultimately, for your healing.
Your sin isn’t as isolated as you think. For example, if you struggle with lust, you may be tempted to think that you aren’t harming anyone. First and foremost, you are sinning against God as you are defiling the temple of the Holy Spirit, yourself, which was made in the image of God. Or another example is lying and gossip. Both are done surrounded by secrecy. But every time we sin, we do what is evil in His sight, breaking His commands and wills. Let this propel you and me onward in repentance which leads to obedience and sanctification. Let us be people of God who don’t merely seek the grace and approval of our community or accountability partners, but who truly get on our knees before the throne and bask in the grace of our almighty creator and savior.