Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Psalms Chapter 51
Metaphysically Interpreting Psalms 51:1-19
51:2Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
51:3For I know my transgressions;
And my sin is ever before me.
51:4Against thee, thee only, have I sinned,
And done that which is evil in thy sight;
That thou mayest be justified when thou speakest,
And be clear when thou judgest.
51:7Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean:
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
51:8Make me to hear joy and gladness,
That the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
51:9Hide thy face from my sins,
And blot out all mine iniquities.
51:13Then will I teach transgressors thy ways;
And sinners shall be converted unto thee.
51:16For thou delightest not in sacrifice; else would I give it:
Thou hast no pleasure in burnt-offering.
October 18, 1903: Psalms 51:1-17
The most mysterious part of man's nature is the heart. As the seat of the affections it is the center of forces that are difficult to harmonize. Love is of itself blind. It is a force, an energy, a wild, untamed cyclone of energies, swaying us this way and that way, until we are dazed and weary of the struggle. We learn by experience that Love must be directed by Wisdom. If we give up blindly to the impulses suggested by our loves, we shall suffer many downfalls.
David represents Love passing through some of these experiences. He let his affections go out to many wives; he attached himself through the heart to the many sources of sensation which the love nature opens up. When one gives up to all the emotions engendered by Love, there is a saturnalia of sensation in consciousness. On the surface there may be no indication of the lawlessness within. It is a realm in which thought is the field of action. Jesus had this in view when he said, “But I say unto you, that everyone that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” David had given way to unrestrained love and fallen into grievous error. But he was under Divine guidance; his was not the sin of mere animal indulgence, and he is therefore set right under the law by repentance and affirmations of loyalty to the Truth.
The first step in all reform is the recognition of the power of the law. Wisdom shows us what the law is, and where we have fallen short. Then we are shown that there is no anger against us by God. The transgression of the law has brought its own punishment. We are not punished for our sins, but by them. God is Kindness, God is Love, “Loving kindness”, a word of rare compound. A realization of this eternal truth that our Father is a multitude of tender mercies that blots out all our transgressions unburdens us at once. The idea of vengeance and punishment for sin by an angry God is a horrible concept. It keeps us on the lookout for an impending day of judgment in which we shall be brought to account for every sin we ever committed, no matter how ignorantly. This fear of a future day of punishment fills the mind with a tear of impending danger, and is handed down from generation to generation as fear in the subjective consciousness. The sins of the fathers are thus visited upon the children. People suffer diseases that are not accounted for, the cause of which is the subjective fear of punishment for sin. The true remedy is here given: Repentance and open confession to the Lord.
When we with open mind acknowledge an error, and at the same time deny it any power over us, the way of the higher principle, the Lord, is made easy in consciousness, and we are truly then and there cleansed from our sin and its effects.
We cannot reconcile the statement that we were “shapen in iniquity, and born in sin.” If the psalmist refers to the mortal part of consciousness, the sinner, that we can endorse, but the essence of Love is Divine, and it will prove its Divine origin, if we marry it to Divine Wisdom. And this Wisdom is in the “inward,” the “hidden” part. It has always been there, but, through our giving up to the emotions without, we have not discovered it.
We can all use with profit these grand affirmations of David:
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free Spirit.”
If you have sinned in thought only, you need this confession and cleansing. We should purify our hearts daily from the corroding effects of the imagination. We delude ourselves when we think, because we have not done the overt act, that we have not sinned. The dregs of the lustful, or error thought, in any of its forms settle back into the subconsciousness, and we suffer the effects in some disease of the flesh. Then let us become alert to purify ourselves daily with the cleansing words of a contrite spirit, a “broken spirit,” the broken spirit of error, which the Lord will not “despise,” but transform into a staff of strength.
Sunday, August 22, 1920: Psalms 51:1-17
How should one judge another's life? If one's life is to be judged by another at all, it should be judged as a whole, and not by selecting a single instance in which there may have seemed to be a shortcoming.
Who is the one righteous Judge? God is the one righteous Judge. The working out of the Divine Law demands that every jot and tittle shall come under its supervision, that all things shall be adjusted according to the Divine Standard.
When one turns to the Lord as did David, and asks that the past be blotted out, what is the real truth back of this desire? A desire for a new life. The real Self is stirring within the soul, and is demanding that purity and that freedom which belong to it, as an expression of the Christ of God.
What is the first step in repentance? The first step is humbling oneself before God, and making a full and free confession of one's shortcomings. This opens up within the consciousness the Divine Fount of Mercy, which lessens the severity of the offense, and makes possible the inflow of God's grace and pardon, through which latter process the sin is entirely erased from subconscious memory.
Can the so-called sinful soul really know joy and gladness? No. Though David's kingdom, after he had sinned, seemed to prosper in an outer way, his accusing conscience continually kept him in an unhappy disturbed state of mind. Righteous peace can never be ours until we have earned it according to the Law.
After pardon is granted before the courts of heaven, what makes it more substantial and sure? A joyous, thanksgiving attitude of mind makes more secure the pardon already granted. Whatever we praise we increase. Through praising the power which lifts us out of sin, we make it stronger and more active within us. We realize that we are purged and are made clean, that we are washed, and are made whiter than snow.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God.”
Pour out upon me Thy forgiving love, and “restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation.”
So shall I be washed whiter than snow, and shall bask in the sunshine of spiritual joy and purity and freedom.
August 25, 1940: Psalms 51:1-3
Why does man not always realize full forgiveness for wrongdoing? Frequently the failure to realize divine forgiveness is due to a man's habit of remembering his wrong doing and brooding over it, instead of making a new beginning and putting the past resolutely out of his thoughts. When he desires to be forgiven, he must first forgive himself and start the work of restoration in his own mind.
Is forgiveness all that is necessary to the work of regeneration? Self-forgetfulness is necessary to a clean heart and a right spirit. One forgets self by learning to become absorbed in contemplation of the opposite of what one wishes to put out of one's thoughts.
August 25, 1940: Psalms 51:9-13
Does God cast anyone away from His presence? No. Man separates himself from God (divine love) in his own thoughts.
How does man lose the Holy Spirit consciousness? When man allows selfishness and personal will to take possession of his heart and thoughts, he loses touch with the Holy Spirit.
What is the surest way to regain one's consciousness of the Holy Spirit? One is restored to consciousness of the Holy Spirit through unselfish service to others.
Does joy play a part in man's restoration? Joy accelerates permanent restoration. Sorrow and remorse hinder recovery.
What upholds us most effectually after we have realized forgiveness? A spirit that makes us willing to forget and put all our resources into the effort of beginning anew is the best support that we or anyone can have at such a time.
July 24, 1949: Psalms 51:1-2
Is God's forgiveness limited in any way? Divine love is infinite; therefore God's forgiveness is unlimited. However our capacity for accepting forgiveness is conditioned by our consciousness. If we believe that we have sinned beyond possibility of forgiveness, we cannot realize the unfailing love of God.
July 24, 1949: Psalms 51:7-13
What purifying element can make us freer of sin than we were before we sinned? The love and grace of the Christ in us creates in us a clean heart and a right spirit, and these have a regenerative effect.
Have joy and gladness a rightful place in forgiveness? They should follow forgiveness and be inspired by it. Joy is a great restorative, and gladness sets new recuperative forces in motion in mind and body.
When we have turned our thoughts toward constructive living, can we be kept from retrogressing and falling back into despair? Yes, a willing spirit can uphold us. We must be willing to go forward, forgetting all that tends to pull us back. If we are willing always to do good, and are intent upon recognizing the good when we see it, and of looking for it when it is not apparent, we shall be kept too busy to retrogress or fall back into despair.
What is the effect of such willingness, when it becomes habitual with us? We fit ourselves to help others and to lead them into similar ways of peace and blessedness.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 11-28-2013