“Against Thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight”! [Psalm 51:4]

“This, then, I would first of all advise the reader to do—to bear in mind that which I observed at the beginning of the Psalm, that David is here speaking in the person of all the saints, and not in his own person only, not in his own person as an adulterer. Although I do not say it might not be, that it was THIS FALL which, as a medium, brought him under the knowledge of himself and of his whole human nature, and made him think thus: “Behold! I, so holy a king, who have with so much pious devotedness observed the law and the worship of God, have been so tempted and overcome by the inbred evil and sin of my flesh, that I have murdered an innocent man, and have for adulterous purposes taken away his wife!

And is not this an evident proof that my nature is more deeply infected and corrupted by sin than ever I thought it was? I who was yesterday chaste am today an adulterer! I who yesterday had hands innocent of blood, am today a man of blood guiltiness!” And it might be that in this way he derived the feeling sense of his entire sinfulness, from his fall into adultery and murder, and from thence drew his conclusion—that neither the tree nor the fruit of human nature were good, but that the whole was so deformed and lost by sin, that there was nothing sound left in the whole of nature. This I would have the reader bear in mind, first of all, if he desire to have the pure meaning of this passage.
In the next place, the grammatical construction is to be explained, which seems to be somewhat obscure. For what the translator has rendered by the Preterperfect, ought to be the PRESENT: AGAINST THEE ONLY DO I SIN; that is, I know that before thee I am nothing but a sinner; or, before thee I do nothing but evil continual; that is, MY WHOLE LIFE IS EVIL AND DEPRAVED ON ACCOUNT OF SIN. I cannot boast before thee of MERIT or of righteousness, but am EVIL ALTOGETHER, and in thy sight THIS is my character—I do evil. I have sinned, I do sin, and shall sin to the end of the chapter”. – MARTIN LUTHER.

“Sin is a clenched fist and a blow in the face of God.” Joseph Parker

When I have sinned, have I viewed my actions as a “sin” AGAINST GOD?
“If sin had its way it would both dethrone and annihilate God.”
William S. Plumer

While our sinful acts have consequences that may result in great harm to those around us, the essence of sin is that it is an act of rebellion against my Father in heaven. I know I’m not keen on hearing this and maybe you aren’t either, but it’s true! When we begin to clearly recognize the fact that sin is a personal act of defiance in the face of the great love our Father in heaven has bestowed upon us, it makes sin appear as it really is – sin is about a heart in revolt. Rather than having a heart like God, beating in unison with heaven’s glory, David decided in his heart that he would DO HIS OWN THING…that he would be the ruler of his world!

The author Arthur Skevington Wood observed, “Sin is a little word with only three letters, but the biggest is ‘I’.” I elevate my viewpoint over my Father’s. I put myself in charge instead of my Father.

It has been said that there’s no such thing as a little sin because there is no such person as a little God to sin against.
John Bunyan, who wrote the wonderful book, Pilgrim’s Progress, defined sin in this way, “Sin is the dare of God’s justice, the rape of His mercy, the jeer of His patience, the slight of His power and the contempt of His love.”
When confronted with the mutinous behavior of his rebel heart, David correctly admitted, “I have sinned against the Lord.” There was no question in David’s mind his was a PERSONAL ACT AGAINST A PERSONAL FATHER, whose heart he broke.

May we never forget the words of an old divine who wrote, “Our sense of sin is in proportion to our nearness to God.” In the case of David, he realized that the “One” whose heart he wanted most to emulate, was the “One” whose heart he crushed – and this is what makes sin such an affront to our loving Father in heaven.

“Against THEE, thee only, have I sinned”. There is a GODLY SORROW which leads a man to life; and THIS sorrow is wrought in a man BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD, and in the heart of the godly; that he mourns for sin because it has displeased GOD, who is so dear and so sweet a Father to him. And suppose he had neither a heaven to lose, nor a hell to gain, yet he is sad and sorrowful in heart because he has grieved GOD.
John Welch, 1576-1622.

[Material gleaned from various sources on the Web]

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