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Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy

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What do you do when you've really blown it? Is sin really as dangerous and is grace really as powerful as the Bible says they are? Is there such a thing as a new beginning? Sin and grace-these are the two themes of our lives. We all blow it and we all need to start over again. In Psalm 51, David tells his story of moral failure, personal awareness, grief, confession, repent What do you do when you've really blown it? Is sin really as dangerous and is grace really as powerful as the Bible says they are? Is there such a thing as a new beginning? Sin and grace-these are the two themes of our lives. We all blow it and we all need to start over again. In Psalm 51, David tells his story of moral failure, personal awareness, grief, confession, repentance, commitment, and hope. And because David's story is every believer's story, Psalm 51 is every believer's psalm. It tells how we, as broken sinners, can be brutally honest with God and yet stand before him without fear. Whiter Than Snow unpacks this powerful little psalm in fifty-two meditations, reminding readers that by God's grace there is mercy for every wrong and grace for every new beginning. Designed for busy believers, these brief and engaging meditations are made practical by the reflection questions that conclude each chapter.


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What do you do when you've really blown it? Is sin really as dangerous and is grace really as powerful as the Bible says they are? Is there such a thing as a new beginning? Sin and grace-these are the two themes of our lives. We all blow it and we all need to start over again. In Psalm 51, David tells his story of moral failure, personal awareness, grief, confession, repent What do you do when you've really blown it? Is sin really as dangerous and is grace really as powerful as the Bible says they are? Is there such a thing as a new beginning? Sin and grace-these are the two themes of our lives. We all blow it and we all need to start over again. In Psalm 51, David tells his story of moral failure, personal awareness, grief, confession, repentance, commitment, and hope. And because David's story is every believer's story, Psalm 51 is every believer's psalm. It tells how we, as broken sinners, can be brutally honest with God and yet stand before him without fear. Whiter Than Snow unpacks this powerful little psalm in fifty-two meditations, reminding readers that by God's grace there is mercy for every wrong and grace for every new beginning. Designed for busy believers, these brief and engaging meditations are made practical by the reflection questions that conclude each chapter.

30 review for Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Calvin Coulter

    Worth every minute it took to read and far more. Read this book. I wanted to quote something from almost every page.

  2. 4 out of 5

    John Uit de Flesch

    Very helpful devotional style book. It’s meant to be read one chapter per day. Some days were better than others. I felt the formatting of some of his “poems” could be improved. His overall basis was Psalm 51.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    This book should be read, and re-read, and thought deeply about at some point each week or each day depending on the time you spend in reflection. I love the format, its quite easy to read but don't let that reason allow you to not see the wisdom of this short book. This book is painful at times because the author will most likely strike a chord with each reader at some point. The dominant theme is sin, and your response to it. Most of the chapters discuss something to do with Psalm 51, his shor This book should be read, and re-read, and thought deeply about at some point each week or each day depending on the time you spend in reflection. I love the format, its quite easy to read but don't let that reason allow you to not see the wisdom of this short book. This book is painful at times because the author will most likely strike a chord with each reader at some point. The dominant theme is sin, and your response to it. Most of the chapters discuss something to do with Psalm 51, his short meditations on these various aspects are usually 2 pages of very good insight. The author is open in discussing his own failures, the allure of sin in his life and what the appropriate response should be. I feel that we can never read enough about how to strengthen our life in Christ and I believe this book does just that. The author makes clear that a it is far to easy to make idols out of your abilities or possesions, to easy to think you need to improve before you go to God, to easy to harden your heart rather than repent, and welcome God's grace to refresh and refine your spirit. This book can be read in one day, but should be reflected upon for a lifetime. .

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andy Bintoro

    This is author's own reflections on david and bethsheba story, but you could read this as devotions too. Each chapter here was short with some questions too meditate deeper. This is author's own reflections on david and bethsheba story, but you could read this as devotions too. Each chapter here was short with some questions too meditate deeper.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stella

    A study on the entirety of Psalm 51. I am only about two-thirds of the way through the book, but God has already used it to reveal so much to me about my sin and His mercy. I am both convicted and overjoyed every time I pick it up. I could go on and on, which I will do a little here... The biggest "stand out" for me was in the very first meditation. He talked about bringing your righteousness to God. This phrase really rang true for me, "Rather than appealing to the mercy of the Lord in the face A study on the entirety of Psalm 51. I am only about two-thirds of the way through the book, but God has already used it to reveal so much to me about my sin and His mercy. I am both convicted and overjoyed every time I pick it up. I could go on and on, which I will do a little here... The biggest "stand out" for me was in the very first meditation. He talked about bringing your righteousness to God. This phrase really rang true for me, "Rather than appealing to the mercy of the Lord in the face of my sin, what I actually do instead is function as my own self defense lawyer and present a list of arguments for my own righteousness." He suggests that, "before you can ever make a clean and unamended confession of your sin, you have to first begin by confessing your righteousness." That our righteousness separates us from God just as much as our sin! It keeps us from seeking forgiveness and mercy. We have no argument to make. Our only chance is to appeal to God's mercy. And He does look on us with mercy because of Jesus' work. We don't have to hide behind our righteousness because we have been personally and eternally blessed! Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Psalm 51:1 And the other meditation that stood out to me and has come to mind often was titled "Violent Grace" and focused on Psalm 51:8 Let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Tripp argues that, "we all have the perverse capacity to be comfortable with what God says is wrong. So God blesses us with violent, uncomfortable grace." He loves us enough to crush us. The pain we feel when God reveals our sin is a good thing. It is a warning that something is wrong - like the pain of a broken bone. A reminder that we need God's grace! As Tripp says, "it isn't always comfortable because he isn't primarily working on our comfort; he's working on our character...With violent grace he will crush us because he loves us and is committed to our restoration, deliverance, and refinement."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    One of the best devotional books I've ever read! Tripp presents the clear, compelling gospel message as displayed powerfully in the life of God's servant David. Indeed David deserved punishment and death for his misdeeds with Bathsheba, murder of her husband Uriah and subsequent cover-up of the whole affair. However, we see in Psalm 51 the mercy and kindness of a holy God who responds to the humble and contrite of heart. What I love about Tripp's meditations on this beautiful Psalm is the fact th One of the best devotional books I've ever read! Tripp presents the clear, compelling gospel message as displayed powerfully in the life of God's servant David. Indeed David deserved punishment and death for his misdeeds with Bathsheba, murder of her husband Uriah and subsequent cover-up of the whole affair. However, we see in Psalm 51 the mercy and kindness of a holy God who responds to the humble and contrite of heart. What I love about Tripp's meditations on this beautiful Psalm is the fact that he doesn't mince words or point fingers, rather he sees himself as David - a wretched sinner in need of mercy and grace. Each short meditation is followed up with two reflective questions that get at the heart of the gospel message of Psalm 51. I was convicted through reading this short devotional and have already recommended it to many friends here in Africa.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paul Munger

    A breeze to read. Paul Tripp has structured this book reflecting on Psalm 51 in a very creative and personal way that really touched my heart. A few of the later chapters felt repetitive though. All the same, I look forward to reading some of this with my family.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Adam Thomas

    52 reflections on sin and mercy, flowing from Psalm 51 (though not in expositional order), with probing questions. If you know Jesus, this book will humble you, it will make you uncomfortable, it will make you think, and it will make you rejoice, and see more of the beauty of your Saviour. The reflections are written as a mixture of prose and free-verse poetry. I like the inclusion of the latter, especially "Aren't you glad you're not like David?", "Nathan's legacy," and "Hoping for a broken hea 52 reflections on sin and mercy, flowing from Psalm 51 (though not in expositional order), with probing questions. If you know Jesus, this book will humble you, it will make you uncomfortable, it will make you think, and it will make you rejoice, and see more of the beauty of your Saviour. The reflections are written as a mixture of prose and free-verse poetry. I like the inclusion of the latter, especially "Aren't you glad you're not like David?", "Nathan's legacy," and "Hoping for a broken heart." One of the big themes that Paul brings out most effectively is the contrast between the pursuit of our little kingdoms with God's big kingdom, and how this is reflected in our desires, agendas, thoughts, actions and prayers. He also offers a lot to chew on about God's uncomfortable grace, which shows us what we are like and leads us to trust him more deeply. This book is probably best read slowly as Tripp intended, one meditation a week across the year.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Anger

    The beginning and the ending chapters of this book were most powerful for me. (Though I was a little distracted while listening to the middle section, so I'm sure I missed a lot there.) I actually purchased a physical copy of this book after listening to the audio, so I can more thoroughly study it and read the scriptures in my preferred version. The book begins with a retelling of the story of David and Bathsheba, and brings some truths out that I hadn't seen before. Pairing David's stories wit The beginning and the ending chapters of this book were most powerful for me. (Though I was a little distracted while listening to the middle section, so I'm sure I missed a lot there.) I actually purchased a physical copy of this book after listening to the audio, so I can more thoroughly study it and read the scriptures in my preferred version. The book begins with a retelling of the story of David and Bathsheba, and brings some truths out that I hadn't seen before. Pairing David's stories with the Psalms he had written was especially powerful, as I got to see not only what he did, but also how he viewed himself, his sin, God, and the other characters in his story. I enjoyed listening to the audio book version, but would recommend the physical version, as there is a lot to study and even some journaling questions to answer, which can't be done adequately when just listening.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Duffy

    I checked this out from the library because I like Paul David Tripp's work. It started off good. He talked about what confession really means to sin and God's mercy. It's an interesting study on Psalm 51. But then the book suddenly turns into "Made for More" (which is one of Tripp's better books) and he talks about David being part if the kingdom of self instead of the Kingdom of God. And then the examples he used in that section were copy and pasted from "Made for More" and "Parenting: 14 Gospe I checked this out from the library because I like Paul David Tripp's work. It started off good. He talked about what confession really means to sin and God's mercy. It's an interesting study on Psalm 51. But then the book suddenly turns into "Made for More" (which is one of Tripp's better books) and he talks about David being part if the kingdom of self instead of the Kingdom of God. And then the examples he used in that section were copy and pasted from "Made for More" and "Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family" with a few sentences altered or removed. It's really lazy to copy and paste things from your past books. Then the book morphed into a totally different book and I felt utterly confused. It felt like a typical sermon at the last quarter of the book rather than a study on our sin and God's mercy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Luke Schmeltzer

    Objectively, this was a very good book. Paul David Tripp is a very eloquent, talented, and poetic writer. His meditations on Psalm 51 deal with a wide array of topics on the humanity through David's plea to God for grace after committing a heinous sin. This book showcases the contrast of the blackness of sin and the holiness of Christ, how He makes us "whiter than snow." I am rating it 3 out of 5 stars simply because it is not the style of writing that I get much out of. However, it was still a Objectively, this was a very good book. Paul David Tripp is a very eloquent, talented, and poetic writer. His meditations on Psalm 51 deal with a wide array of topics on the humanity through David's plea to God for grace after committing a heinous sin. This book showcases the contrast of the blackness of sin and the holiness of Christ, how He makes us "whiter than snow." I am rating it 3 out of 5 stars simply because it is not the style of writing that I get much out of. However, it was still a very powerful and enjoyable book!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Graham Heslop

    Three stars seems harsh for a book that has enriched my prayer life, self-assessment, and gospel joy over the past few weeks. Despite my rating I heartily recommend the book to everyone, and have already given two copies of it away. Tripp glowingly presents the relationship between our sin and God's grace; we cannot understand ourselves or mercy without the former and when we do we rejoice all the more in the latter. Three stars seems harsh for a book that has enriched my prayer life, self-assessment, and gospel joy over the past few weeks. Despite my rating I heartily recommend the book to everyone, and have already given two copies of it away. Tripp glowingly presents the relationship between our sin and God's grace; we cannot understand ourselves or mercy without the former and when we do we rejoice all the more in the latter.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Read this 2-3 times over the years and it remains a favorite! Brings Psalm 51 to life in a way that makes it seem as much your prayer as David’s. His illustration of gently and expertly renovating a home is an image I return to often. The meditations are short, making it an easy read with enduring impact. Highly recommend!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Malin

    This devotional kicked me in the pants, in a great way. It is at the top of my list as far as favorite devotionals that I've used in my personal times with the Lord. God used it to stir my heart to repentance and restoration in ways I didn't see coming when I first began reading it. This devotional kicked me in the pants, in a great way. It is at the top of my list as far as favorite devotionals that I've used in my personal times with the Lord. God used it to stir my heart to repentance and restoration in ways I didn't see coming when I first began reading it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin Sarago

    This was probably my favorite book I've read this year! Tripp's meditations on sin and mercy (with a focus on Psalm 51) were a consistent delight each day that I read them. I will definitely reread this this book. This was probably my favorite book I've read this year! Tripp's meditations on sin and mercy (with a focus on Psalm 51) were a consistent delight each day that I read them. I will definitely reread this this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    Paul David Tripp is one of my favorite authors to begin with, but really enjoyed this devotional based on Psalm 51. Tripp is deft in bringing out sin and conviction but also God's lavished grace. Thus, movings us forward in sanctification. Paul David Tripp is one of my favorite authors to begin with, but really enjoyed this devotional based on Psalm 51. Tripp is deft in bringing out sin and conviction but also God's lavished grace. Thus, movings us forward in sanctification.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Spring 2017- what an blessing the devotional thoughts in this book have been over the last few months! Tripp's pastoral warmth and love for the Savior is evident on every page. Highly recommend. Spring 2017- what an blessing the devotional thoughts in this book have been over the last few months! Tripp's pastoral warmth and love for the Savior is evident on every page. Highly recommend.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Robinson

    The 29th meditation, called "The Terrible Trinity", is worth the price of the book. The 29th meditation, called "The Terrible Trinity", is worth the price of the book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Noel Adams

    Meditations on Psalm 51. Beautiful.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    Excellent read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Linda Aldridge

    A great book, rich in truth! I used it as a weekly devotion through the year. One chapter a week. Very challenging. Will be read again!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jesvin Jose

    Excellent meditations on Psalm 51. Helped me examine my own heart.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brandi Breezee

    This was Paul Tripp being Paul Tripp. Telling it like it is in a fresh way that’s sure to convict and encourage.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Good Michigan Reads

    Some meditations are simple or repetitive, but there is lots of solid gold in here!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Scott Cox

    "Whiter Than Snow" is a collection of meditations based on King David's confessional hymn found in Psalm 51, a Psalm written after David was confronted with the dual sins of adultery and murder. In the Psalm, David confesses his dependency on God's "uncomfortable grace, grace that's willing to break bones in order for your heart to be true" (p.142). This work is a compilation of Paul David Tripp's words of encouragement, exhortations, and poetry compiled to help us see the true nature of a broke "Whiter Than Snow" is a collection of meditations based on King David's confessional hymn found in Psalm 51, a Psalm written after David was confronted with the dual sins of adultery and murder. In the Psalm, David confesses his dependency on God's "uncomfortable grace, grace that's willing to break bones in order for your heart to be true" (p.142). This work is a compilation of Paul David Tripp's words of encouragement, exhortations, and poetry compiled to help us see the true nature of a broken heart and dependence on God's overwhelming mercy as penned by King David. The helpful questions at the end of each section encourages the reader to meditate upon the application for our hearts and lives. I highly, highly recommend this work.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    I didn't finish this book. The author's focus on "total depravity" seemed to not only ignore the context and literary style of this Psalm, but it also seemed to ignore the grace and redemption present in Christ for all those who are also in him. For Christians (or non-Christians) struggling to admit their sin, then this book may be good for bluntly forcing them to confess, but only if they like to have someone beat them over the head. I found little inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the first 30 I didn't finish this book. The author's focus on "total depravity" seemed to not only ignore the context and literary style of this Psalm, but it also seemed to ignore the grace and redemption present in Christ for all those who are also in him. For Christians (or non-Christians) struggling to admit their sin, then this book may be good for bluntly forcing them to confess, but only if they like to have someone beat them over the head. I found little inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the first 30-40 pages of the book and lots of works by man to force his point of view on others. Thankful I'm not longer obligated to continue reading the rest of it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joel

    I actually picked up a devotional and really enjoyed it. This book is divided into two or three page meditations on phrases and sentences and thoughts on Psalm 51, about sin, confession, mercy, redemption. I love that Tripp is accessible but not shallow, that he thinks thoughts of conviction that lead to praise instead of self-consuming guilt, that the gospel and community are at the heart of this Psalm of repentance.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    We've used this book for leadership community groups in our ministry for 2 years now and still find that reviewing the chapters is applicable and challenging. Chapter styles vary from one to the next which I find refreshing. For the reader who can't always understand poetry, there is narrative. This book is very Gospel centered & easy to read. It's also easy to break up into discussion topics. Questions at the end of each chapter make it easy to spark new, deeper questions as well. High marks. We've used this book for leadership community groups in our ministry for 2 years now and still find that reviewing the chapters is applicable and challenging. Chapter styles vary from one to the next which I find refreshing. For the reader who can't always understand poetry, there is narrative. This book is very Gospel centered & easy to read. It's also easy to break up into discussion topics. Questions at the end of each chapter make it easy to spark new, deeper questions as well. High marks.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gigi

    What a wonderful book to go to bed to. I looked forward to reading this every night. I hope to read it again with the energy to journal. At the end of each section there are two points or questions to think about. Wisdom drips from every page and I found myself wanting to underline everything, but I checked it out from the library, so I'll have to get my own copy soon. What a wonderful book to go to bed to. I looked forward to reading this every night. I hope to read it again with the energy to journal. At the end of each section there are two points or questions to think about. Wisdom drips from every page and I found myself wanting to underline everything, but I checked it out from the library, so I'll have to get my own copy soon.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Wade

    This is honestly an excellent book that gets very clearly and distinctly to the heart of sin and the far-reaching effects that sin has in our lives. Tripp walks verse-by-verse, and even word-by-word, through Psalm 51 and anyone reading this book with an open head and an open heart will inevitably be changed by what they read.

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