This prayer by David has given exegetes some trouble. David is aware of his crimes against Uriah the Hittite, whom he has killed, and Bathsheba, with whom he commits adultery. He agonizes over his sins and fears the judgment that must come because of them. But he is primarily concerned that sin has caused a separation between him and his God. He pleads for mercy, cleansing, renewal and restoration. He realizes that the sacrifice of all the animals in the kingdom would be useless. He cannot atone for his mistakes. Only God can forgive. He also realizes that once forgiven, he will have the privilege of coming back into the temple to sacrifice out of a thankful heart, and back to the people to teach them God’s ways. It was all about his relationship with God – something this mighty king could not afford to lose.
LORD, when we stray from your way, help us to plead for your mercy and forgiveness. Make our relationship with you priority #1.