Beckett: Poetry – No. 2149, God’s Work in the Sinner

Based on Psalm 51:1-13.


O God, have mercy on me
according to Your faithfulness, —
because of Your mercy,
not the scant good I possess.

Wipe out my transgressions
and cleanse me from my evil.
Hear this my confession,
for my sins are primeval.

For all things done and undone
are perennially before me.
O Lord, what have I done
that You would die for me?

I sin against You alone,
for You alone are holy.
What is this I bemoan
but regret of sin’s drudgery?

All the evil that I do
justifies Your holy Word;
all the evil I accrue
makes Your judgement ne’er absurd.

For I was born in wickedness;
thus, it’s all I know how to do.
You give me Your truth’s blissfulness
and teach me wisdom new.

Cleanse me as clean as water;
wash me as pure as snow.
You’ve absolved me at Your altar;
I am made new, this I know.

Thus, I have been made glad;
I turn from brokenness to rejoicing.
For in my sins no longer clad,
in Christ enjoined to live fearlessly.

For You no longer see my sins
since You have wiped them out.
You’ve made me a new heart within, —
a righteous spirit that deposes doubt.

Your presence is ne’er far from me
since You’ve gifted Your Spirit forevermore.
Your salvation thus fills me with glee
since You uphold my spirit evermore.

Thus, I teach fellow sinners
of Your restorative ways;
for even the sins we give favour,
You take the sin and throw it away.

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