David realized his sin and the guilt he carried because of it. He recognized God would not fellowship with Him in his state of sinfulness. In verses two, seven, and nine, David stated he was a sinner full of iniquity, transgressions, and guilt. He admitted (confessed) his sins to God and repented of them.
After his three confessions of sinfulness, David petitioned God to create a clean heart in him. He did not ask only for cleansing, but a re-creating of his heart. The Hebrew word translated as “create” means to transform, reshape, or re-form. Ezekiel used it in 18:31-32 recognizing a clean heart comes because of getting away from sins and includes confessing and repenting. He realized only when a person was no longer tainted by sins and the guilt of sins would God create a new heart in the person. Paul agreed with this and applied New Testament theology to it. In Ephesians 2:10, Paul taught that when God creates a clean heart in a person, He creates that person in the image of Christ Jesus to do good works. He said we (Christians) are God’s workmanship. Without His cleansing and purification, He would not give us/create in us a new heart.
From this, we get the understanding that a clean heart comes from the forgiveness of God and His washing away our sins by the sacrificial blood shed by His sinless Jesus Christ. The heart David, Ezekiel, Paul, and others speak of is the inner being of each person. The mind, will, heart, and soul of a person that decides to act morally – according to God’s ways – or immorally is the inner being. From Paul’s earlier verse we recognize we can keep a clean heart by doing the good works of God. David added through Psalm 24:3-4 the one who has a pure heart and clean hands is the one who does not lie or swear deceitfully. Only those people, he said, could ascend the hill of the Lord. Luke stated in Acts 15:9 the pure in heart are the ones whom God cleansed their hearts because of their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior. Jesus taught in the Beatitudes the promise of seeing God for those with a clean heart (Matthew 5:8). Why would anyone not want to have a clean heart or be created in Jesus’ image? David, though he did not know the Savior, knew from God’s prophets God would send a Messiah. He sought the only way of being cleansed from his evil actions and thoughts, through God’s love and mercy, through God’s re-creating his heart.
David asked God for a second thing in this Psalm 51:10. He requested God renew a right spirit within him. This request for renewal shows David recognized his tainted and sinful being. He realized his sinfulness and repented to God. David realized only God, the original Creator of his being, could renew – remake – his inner being/heart so he could stand strong and not sin, not be weighed down by the guilt of his sins, and see God. With a heart restored by and to God, God became primary in his life once again.
With God as primary and relying upon Him, David could withstand temptations and trials and continue to be in fellowship with God. The word “right” David used comes from the Hebrew word meaning to be in alignment with God, and persevering, enduring, and being established in God and His ways because of love for Him. David spoke of a steadfast or right spirit other times, like in Psalm 78:36-37. He said in these verses a steadfast heart does not speak deceit or lies, but is faithful to God’s covenant with him/her.
David asked God to create in him a clean heart. He requested further that God re-make and transform his inner being - his heart - so he would be right with God – in a right relationship with Him because of being cleansed from his sins - and stand strong for Him persevering in faith no matter what trials and temptations arose. We each need to ask ourselves daily if we are in a right relationship with God. Is there sin blocking our relationship with God and leading us to fall more often to temptation? Is there any stain and sin in our past we need to confess and repent as David recognized in himself and repented of to God? Only then will God create a new heart and establish a right relationship with Him for us. Remember, Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”
v Now is the time to confess and repent.
v Now is the time to go before God seeking forgiveness and renewing.
God wants to be in a personal, intimate, and growing relationship with you.