Blessed Are The Forgiven
A Maskil of David
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
Therefore let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
they shall not reach him.
You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
or it will not stay near you.
Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.
Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
(Psalm 32 ESV)
A few days ago I was reading John’s Gospel and was once again intrigued by His comment upon meeting Nathaniel, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” I figured He was referencing something but I didn’t know what. So then I went to a Wednesday night Bible study at church and the text for the night was Psalm 32. Nice! It’s cool when God shows up like that.
I’ve got this theory that when Jesus references a passage of Scripture, He is directing us toward the entire book or at least the context of the quote. “My God My God why have you forsaken me!” (Mt. 27:46) is a reference to Psalm 22, often referred to as the psalm of the cross. We can understand the cross and its effect by studying this psalm He says. Likewise, Jesus refers to Psalm 32 as He prepares to begin His ministry on earth. Isn’t this pointing us to the cross?
It’s also a God thing that it took me four days to write this blog entry. As I tell people all the time, I do my best not to judge because I am a sinner who is saved only by the grace of God. I don’t know if people think I am just spouting doctrine or saying that “I used to be a sinner…” The truth is that I am a continuing sinner who lives his life desperately clinging to his salvation in Christ. To be frank and honest, there are days that I sincerely question my salvation. After all, I adhere to the notion of Once Saved Always Saved. It makes no sence that a person might lose by his orher actions something that he or she cannot hope to earn by his or her actions. The real question is whether a person was ever “saved ” in the first place. (We can discuss that in further blogs or in the comments.)
So, like I said, I am a sinner who is saved by the Grace of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and not by anything I ever did. If that were not the case, I would be doomed to eternity in hell. I continue in my sinfulness and cannot brag about my godliness. I have tried to hide my sins, more out of shame than in an attempt to pretend that I am holy. Nor am I confessing my sinfulness to show some great epiphany. But, those who have been even a little faithful in their walk with christ know that, sins have a way of having light shine on them. I know from experience that the Psalmist wrote from his own experience as he penned Psalm 32. Those concealed iniquities (or rather the ones we think are hidden) eat away at our insides for the Holy Spirit sees even our inner most thoughts. I believe that’s because if the Spirit is in us, we feel His pain as our own.
I have not told anyone about a particular sin of mine nor the pain I’ve lived with in the mean time. I didn’t even really consider it a sin so I was even lying to myself. When I read line three of Psalm 32 I literally said to myself, “Crap!” That’s exactly how my bones have been feeling: all achy and withery. And the constant ringing in my ears was maddening. Now that my particular sin has been found out and confessed, I have to say that I am not experiencing any of that anymore. Not that I don’t have to deal with the ramifications of concealing something from my spouse but, having read this psalm I know that my Lord is still with me it is He who has delivered me and as I continue in His ways He will continue to guide me and those around me, and we will have reason to rejoice.
Did you catch the pattern revealed in Psalm 32?
David informs us that keeping silent/ deceiving ourselves/ others/ God about our sins dries a believer out. Therefore believers must confess their sins to God. He will forgive those sins. The expectation is that believers who are forgiven in this way should then follow God (“go and sin no more”) and rejoice in His steadfast love for those who trust in Him.
Of course sinless readers can feel free to judge me and ignore this lesson from Scripture.
Be Forgiven and Free,