Psalm 25:11 – For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great.
This line in the midst of Psalm 25 is rich. David acknowledges that he is guilty. He has great guilt, as do we all. And David recognizes that he needs a pardon from God. His guilt is something that would separate him from the Lord. His guilt is something that would keep God from hearing his prayer. So David asks God for a pardon.
But notice the grounds upon which David bases his request. Notice why it is that David asks to be pardoned. David does not ask to be pardoned based on his own goodness. He has already acknowledged that he is a great sinner. Instead, David asks God to pardon him for God’s own name’s sake. It is for the sake of the reputation and glory of God that David asks for pardon. It is based on the fact that God is known to be a loving, merciful, covenant keeping God that David seeks pardon.
As Christians, we still mess up. All of us, in one moment or another, will fail before our Lord. In such moments, we too need to seek the forgiveness of God. Our sins, in the eternal legal sense, have already been forgiven in Christ, but we still need to be forgiven by God for the sake of our relationship with him. But when we seek his forgiveness, we need to be careful that we be not presumptuous. We do not demand his forgiveness. We do not act as though his grace is a little thing, a trifle to be claimed flippantly. Instead, we need to seek his grace as humble sinners should. We ask to be forgiven by God, not because we deserve it, but because his reputation is on the line. He has called us his children. He has promised to forgive and to keep us. Thus, we humbly seek his grace based on his name. We ask for him to forgive us so that his reputation as a loving and forgiving God will be upheld. We ask him to forgive us for his glory first and foremost.
Dear Lord, you are truly a great and gracious God. You have shown yourself to be faithful to your promises time and time again. I recognize, even from this verse, that every time you have forgiven me, it has been a testimony to your name, your reputation, your glory. I ask that you will continue to work in my life to make me more and more like you. Do this for the sake of your name. Sanctify me, leading me to obedience and growth, so that people will see how great, loving, kind, and glorious you truly are.