New Defender's Study Bible Notes
51:1 Have mercy upon me. Psalm 51 tells of David’s repentance, confession and plea for cleansing following Nathan’s rebuke after his sin with respect to Bathsheba and Uriah (II Samuel 12:1-15). Psalm 32 tells of his joy after God forgave him (Psalm 51:12).
51:4 have I sinned. There is no sin that injures only the sinner, and/or those he has wronged, for all sin is against God’s holy purpose for one’s life. David had certainly sinned against both Bathsheba and Uriah, but it was even a greater sin against God. This sin had “given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme” (II Samuel 12:14).
51:5 conceive. There is no sin in the act of conception itself when carried out in the bond of marriage (Hebrews 13:4). This testimony refers rather to “original sin,” the sin-nature inherited from Adam and Eve.
51:7 hyssop. Hyssop was a small shrub used to sprinkle blood and water over the cleansed leper, symbolizing his purification and cleansing (Leviticus 14:4-7).
51:10 Create in me. Only God can create, including the great miracle of regeneration, which is truly a “new creation” (II Corinthians 5:17).
51:11 thy holy spirit. Since the death and resurrection of Christ, He has promised that the Holy Spirit will indwell His believing disciples forever (John 14:16-17). Before Christ, the Holy Spirit would come upon individuals for specific empowerment for service and could as easily leave, as in the case of Saul (I Samuel 11:6; 16:14). David earnestly prayed that this would not happen also to him.
51:12 Restore unto me. Once a believer has truly been saved, either before or after Christ, he can never become unsaved (John 10:28; Romans 8:35; etc.). However, through overt sin, a believer may lose the joy of his salvation.
Psalm 52 (title) Maschil. This is one of the Maschil psalms (see Psalm 32). It was written by David as an indictment of the treacherous act of Doeg, the Edomite (I Samuel 21:7; 22:9-19).