Psalm 51:15
O Lord, open you my lips; and my mouth shall show forth your praise.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) My lips.—Comp. Psalm 71:15. The sense of forgiveness is like a glad morning to song-birds.

51:7-15 Purge me with hyssop, with the blood of Christ applied to my soul by a lively faith, as the water of purification was sprinkled with a bunch of hyssop. The blood of Christ is called the blood of sprinkling, Heb 12:24. If this blood of Christ, which cleanses from all sin, cleanse us from our sin, then we shall be clean indeed, Heb 10:2. He asks not to be comforted, till he is first cleansed; if sin, the bitter root of sorrow, be taken away, he can pray in faith, Let me have a well-grounded peace, of thy creating, so that the bones broken by convictions may rejoice, may be comforted. Hide thy face from my sins; blot out all mine iniquities out of thy book; blot them out, as a cloud is blotted out and dispelled by the beams of the sun. And the believer desires renewal to holiness as much as the joy of salvation. David now saw, more than ever, what an unclean heart he had, and sadly laments it; but he sees it is not in his own power to amend it, and therefore begs God would create in him a clean heart. When the sinner feels this change is necessary, and reads the promise of God to that purpose, he begins to ask it. He knew he had by his sin grieved the Holy Spirit, and provoked him to withdraw. This he dreads more than anything. He prays that Divine comforts may be restored to him. When we give ourselves cause to doubt our interest in salvation, how can we expect the joy of it? This had made him weak; he prays, I am ready to fall, either into sin or into despair, therefore uphold me with thy Spirit. Thy Spirit is a free Spirit, a free Agent himself, working freely. And the more cheerful we are in our duty, the more constant we shall be to it. What is this but the liberty wherewith Christ makes his people free, which is contrasted with the yoke of bondage? Ga 5:1. It is the Spirit of adoption spoken to the heart. Those to whom God is the God of salvation, he will deliver from guilt; for the salvation he is the God of, is salvation from sin. We may therefore plead with him, Lord, thou art the God of my salvation, therefore deliver me from the dominion of sin. And when the lips are opened, what should they speak but the praises of God for his forgiving mercy?O Lord, open thou my lips - That is, by taking away my guilt; by giving me evidence that my sins are forgiven; by taking this burden from me, and filling my heart with the joy of pardon. The original word is in the future tense, but the meaning is well expressed in our common translation. There was, in fact, at the same time a confident expectation that God "would" thus open his lips, and a desire that he should do it.

And my mouth shall show forth thy praise - Or, I will praise thee. Praise is the natural expression of the feelings when the sense of sin is removed.

15. open … lips—by removing my sense of guilt. Open thou my lips; which are shut with shame, and grief, and horror. Restore unto me the opportunity, and ability, and liberty which formerly I had of speaking to thee with freedom, and boldness, and familiarity, as this phrase signifies, Ezekiel 3:27 24:27 Ephesians 6:19,20. O Lord, open thou my lips,.... The Targum adds, "in the late"; which were shut with a sense of sin, with shame of it, and sorrow for it; and though they were in some measure opened in prayer to God for the forgiveness of it, as appears by various petitions in this psalm, yet he still wanted a free spirit and boldness at the throne of grace, which the believer has when his heart is sprinkled from an evil conscience by the blood of Christ; and especially his lips were shut as to praise and thanksgiving; the guilt of sin had sealed up his lips, that he could not sing the praises of God as he had formerly done; and only a discovery of pardoning grace could open them, and for this he prays:

and my mouth shall show forth thy praise: the praise of his mercy, grace, goodness, truth, and faithfulness, in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; see Psalm 103:1.

O Lord, {n} open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

(n) By giving me opportunity to praise you, when you will forgive my sins.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. open thou] Lit. as P.B. V., thou shalt open, i.e. when thou openest. Not the occasion for praise only, but the power to praise aright is the gift of God. Cp. Psalm 40:3. In this verse and the preceding one there may be an allusion to the public worship of God. Cp. Psalm 26:6-7. He may be tacitly comparing himself to the leper who has been pronounced clean, and restored to that fellowship with the congregation from which he had been excluded.Verse 15. - O Lord (not Jehovah, but Adonai), open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. A sense of his guilt has long kept the psalmist's lips closed. Let his sins be forgiven, and his conscience relieved, then praise and thanksgiving will flow from his mouth freely and copiously. The possession of all possessions, however, most needed by him, the foundation of all other possessions, is the assurance of the forgiveness of his sins. The second futures in Psalm 51:9 are consequents of the first, which are used as optatives. Psalm 51:9 recalls to mind the sprinkling of the leper, and of one unclean by reason of his contact with a dead body, by means of the bunch of hyssop (Leviticus 14, Numbers 19), the βοτάνη καθαρτική (Bhr, Symbol. ii. 503); and Psalm 51:9 recalls the washings which, according to priestly directions, the unclean person in all cases of uncleanness had to undergo. Purification and washing which the Law enjoins, are regarded in connection with the idea implied in them, and with a setting aside of their symbolic and carnal outward side, inasmuch as the performance of both acts, which in other cases takes place through priestly mediation, is here supplicated directly from God Himself. Manifestly בּאזוב (not כבאזוב) is intended to be understood in a spiritual sense. It is a spiritual medium of purification without the medium itself being stated. The New Testament believer confesses, with Petrarch in the second of his seven penitential Psalms: omnes sordes meas una gutta, vel tenuis, sacri sanguinis absterget. But there is here no mention made of atonement by blood; for the antitype of the atoning blood was still hidden from David. The operation of justifying grace on a man stained by the blood-red guilt of sin could not, however, be more forcibly denoted than by the expression that it makes him whiter than snow (cf. the dependent passage Isaiah 1:18). And history scarcely records a grander instance of the change of blood-red sin into dazzling whiteness than this, that out of the subsequent marriage of David and Bathsheba sprang Solomon, the most richly blessed of all kings. At the present time David's very bones are still shaken, and as it were crushed, with the sense of sin. דּכּית is an attributive clause like יפעל in Psalm 7:16. Into what rejoicing will this smitten condition be changed, when he only realizes within his soul the comforting and joyous assuring utterance of the God who is once more gracious to him! For this he yearns, viz., that God would hide His face from the sin which He is now visiting upon him, so that it may as it were be no longer present to Him; that He would blot out all his iniquities, so that they may no longer testify against him. Here the first part of the Psalm closes; the close recurs to the language of the opening (Psalm 51:3).
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