How many ways can you say forgiveness?

Have you ever noticed? God doesn’t just have one way to talk about forgiveness. No, God has a complete arsenal of ways to talk about forgiveness.

The reason for this is that we need to hear about forgiveness over and over again. We need to constantly rediscover grace from a variety of angles, so that we begin to absorb what God has actually done for us.

In Psalm 51, David, a man after God’s own heart, recalls a number of these various perspectives and angles on forgiveness.

Maybe that’s because he sorely needed God’s forgiveness.

David had sinned horribly, and in multiple ways. Then to top it all off, he covered his sins up and tried to bury them as deep as he could. God sent Nathan the prophet to confront David, and finally — finally! — David relented and repented.

With a repentant heart, David beseeches God for forgiveness. But notice, he never once mentions the word “forgiveness.”

He asks God to cleanse and wash him from his sins. He wants God to make him as pure as the driven snow.

He desires to hear God’s voice filled with joy and gladness.

He seeks healing for his bones, bones that feel crushed by God’s justice and anger.

He pleads that God will hide his face from his sins. He asks God to blot out his iniquity like erasing a spill in the carpet.

What colorful pictures, and they all say the same thing: “God, please forgive me!”

“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity” (Psalm 51:7-9, NIV).

Our Bible reading for Saturday, April 25, is Joshua 8:1 – 9:15, Luke 22:63 – 23:25 and Psalm 51:1-9.

Lord, thank you for forgiveness. Thank you that I can picture your forgiveness in so many different, beautiful ways. Please cleanse me and heal me from my transgressions against you.

Header image based on "Norwegian Snow Desert" by Markus Trienke, CC By-SA 2.0

Published by


I'm married to my beautiful wife Julie and have five kids whose names all begin with the letter A. I'm a pastor at CrossWalk Church in Phoenix, AZ. I love Jesus, my wife, my kids, and my grandkids. Huge Arizona Cardinals fan! Reading, hiking, camping, travel, and fishing are my top 5 downtime pleasures.

One thought on “How many ways can you say forgiveness?”

  1. Our Bible reading for Saturday, April 25, is Joshua 8:1 – 9:15, Luke 22:63 – 23:25 and Psalm 51:1-9.

    Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.

    Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. (‭Psalm‬ ‭51‬:‭1-4, 7-9‬ NIV)

    Heavenly Father, only a God who is love could be so forgiving. Father I am the worst of sinners. I fail you everyday in my thoughts, actions, and words. I expect no more than your worst punishment, but you Lord have given me hope in Jesus. He came for me and all who know him to save of us, redeem us, make us holy in your sight. Thank you Father for all you have done for me and all those I love. Please Lord help bring this message to the world, a world that needs you.

    ~Paul Montenieri


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s