David is pleading for forgiveness in Psalm 51. He’s sinned against God in his adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah! He pleads for mercy and forgiveness and confesses openly. He not only confesses his sinful acts, he also confesses his sinful nature. In verse 5, he says, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”

Paul Harvey once told of death and disappointment of an old man who believed man was ultimately good. He founded a University which left the rules and regulations to the students whom he believed were honest and full of goodness and would in the end always choose to do what is right. His experiment ended a total failure as Paul Harvey described it, he said, “But as the months went by, students proved time and time again that they were not the models of discipline and discernment the old man envisioned. They skipped classes, drank to excess, and wasted hours in frivolous pursuits. One night, 14 students, disguised by masks and “animated with wine,” went on a rampage that ended in a brawl. One struck a professor with a brick, and another used a cane on his victim.”

Greatly disillusioned by the reality of human nature, the old man passed away on the 4th of July. Engraved on his tombstone were the simple words that reflected the success and failure of his most important experiments: “Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and father of the University of Virginia.” Now, as Mr. Harvey says, you know the rest of the story.

Dr. Albert Einstein, in a lecture given in 1948, spoke of the nature of man in relation to the world: “The true problem lies in the hearts and thoughts of men. It is not a physical but an ethical one. . . . What terrifies us is not the explosive force of the atomic bomb, but the power of the wickedness of the human heart.”

The only cure for man’s heart is not “rehabilitation.” Rather it is “regeneration.” Surely, Jesus was right. “You MUST be born again.”

“As your name deserves, O God, you will be praised to the ends of the earth. Your strong right hand is filled with victory.” (Psalm 48:10)