Psalm 51:18-19 (JDV)
Psalm 51:18 In your good pleasure, cause Zion to prosper; build the walls of Jerusalem.
Psalm 51:19 Then you will delight in righteous sacrifices, whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.
These are the words of a man who has failed God, has repented, and seeks forgiveness and restoration. But these final words of this forgiveness psalm seem somewhat out of place in that context.
They do fit, because God wants to do more for David than simply forgive him. David is king, and his life is wrapped up in the welfare of his kingdom. It is fitting for him to ask God not only for his personal restoration, but also to build up the city and the kingdom that his sins had begun to tear down.
We haven’t gone the whole way if we just experience forgiveness for our sins and failures. God wants to restore the years that the locusts have eaten our crops. He wants to eliminate the shame that drags us down long after we return to him in repentance. We need to ask him to do that, and be careful to give him the praise when he does.
Lord, thank you for your gracious forgiveness. Please restore our work for your glory.