PSALM 32 - The Blessing of Deliverance from Sin
1. [A Psalm] of David, Maschil {ie., instruction}.
Blessed [is he whose] transgression [is] forgiven, [whose] sin [is] covered.
2 Blessed [is] the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity,
and in whose spirit [there is] no guile.
Blessed {ie., happy, in a good situation}...
Everyone must face the judgment for his transgression {ie., rebellion, trespass} and sin {ie., offence} against God. Yet, even now, these things make a miserable mess of a man's life (eg., as described in Psa 31:9-12). How good it would be: to be relieved of sin's guilt, to start life anew with a clean slate.
Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity.-
The apostle Paul quotes these verses, in Rom 4:6-8, where he explains that a sinner cannot justify himself before God. True righteousness cannot be earned through good works, because iniquity {ie., perversity} is at the root of our human nature.
     However, God has graciously provided a righteousness, not of works, but totally at His expense. He offers it as a free gift to those who trust His provision. Paul presents Abraham and David as examples, of sinners who received righteousness from God, by faith (Rom 4:1-8).
     But how can God be just, and justify the believing sinner? Only because of Christ's death in the sinner's stead (Rom 3:21-26). Therefore, because I have placed my trust in Christ and His finished work on the cross, where God imputed my sin to Jesus, God has imputed Christ's righteousness to my account (Rom 4:23-25; 2Cor 5:19-21). This is truly 'Good News' for the broken sinner (Rom 1:16, 'Gospel' means 'good news'). whose spirit there is no guile {ie., deceit, treachery, falsehood}.
Such a blessed man is not only forgiven of guilt and accounted to be righteous, but God also gives him a new inner nature (through the new birth, by God's Spirit). Whereas he previously lived a lie, deceitfully attempting to look good when he was not, now he truly desires to please God. 1Pet 2:1,2
     How wonderful: to be such a man!
3 When I kept silence,
my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me:
my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
Selah.- This word means 'pause.'
Pause and consider carefully what has just been said.
Though aware that God offers to forgive sin and to give true righteousness, I refused to turn to Him!
When I kept silence...
Here is the miserable condition of unconfessed sin. The conviction of personal corruption is like a cancer eating at the fabric of one's inner being... or, like the sun's rays relentlessly revealing the impurities of one's heart, in the heat of God's wrath.
     Yet, confession does not come easily, for the natural heart is in rebellion against God. Prov 28:13; Jer 17:9,10
thy hand was heavy upon me...- God's Holy Spirit convicts the sinner of sin. Joh 16:8-11
Here, David is probably remembering his futile attempt to cover his adultery, by arranging the death of Bathsheba's husband. Knowing that nothing can be hidden from God, David was crushed under the weight of God's gaze. Yet, he kept silence. He would not confess his sin, until God confronted him with it, through Nathan the prophet. (2Sam 11:26,27; 12:1-12).
5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid.
I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD;
and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
I acknowledged my sin... I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD...
Having been confronted with his sin, by God, David confessed the truth (see 2Sam 12:13a; Psa 51:3-5).
Have you confessed your sinfulness to the Lord? In 1Joh 1:8-10, the word 'confess' {GK=homologeo} means 'to say the same thing.' There can be no forgiveness or cleansing from sin, until we agree with God, that His Word accurately describes our fallen state (eg., Rom 3:10-20). But when we believe and submit to God's Word, He is faithful to fulfill His promise...
...and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin (2Sam 12:13b). Selah.
Consider... When I turned to God in faith, He did what He said He would do!
6 For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found:
surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
7. Thou [art] my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble;
thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
for this...- ie., for the cure for sin which God offers (v.1,2,5).
...shall every one that is godly pray...
The 'godly' are those who respond aright to God's Grace, which is available for everyone (Titus 2:11,12). When a sinner, by faith, avails himself of this Grace, God begins to develop 'godliness' within him. a time when thou mayest be found.-
God's Grace is offered for a limited time, for "it is appointed unto a man once to die, and after this the judgment." Isa 55:6,7; Joh 8:24; 2Cor 6:1,2; Heb 9:27
the floods of great waters... shall not come nigh unto him.-
God's judgment upon sin will not touch those who are in Christ, for He has borne their judgment for them. Just as the waters of judgment beat upon the ark, in which Noah and his family were kept safe and dry. Psa 42:7; Mat 7:24-27
Thou art my hiding place...- Psa 119:114; Col 3:3
Thou shall compass {surround} me... with songs of deliverance.- cp. v.10
Secure in our Savior, we share in His joy. Psa 40:3
Selah.- Consider... the blessedness of such a relationship with Him!
8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go:
I will guide thee with mine eye.
9 Be ye not as the horse, [or] as the mule, [which] have no understanding:
whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle,
lest they come near unto thee.
10 Many sorrows [shall be] to the wicked:
but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.
11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous:
and shout for joy, all [ye that are] upright in heart.
I will instruct thee... I will guide thee with mine eye.
What Grace! Not only does He impute righteousness to the repentant believer, but He also leads those who submit to Him, in the way of righteouness. Psa 25:9,10; Psa 33:18; Prov 3:5,6; Mat 11:29,30 (to be 'meek and lowly in heart' is to 'humbly submit' to God's will.)
Be ye not as the horse... whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle...-
Bit and bridle are used to constrain these animals to comply with the master's will, thus preventing harm to themselves and others. The One, who saved you from sin, is your Lord and Master. Your chief desire should be to serve Him with your whole heart. He should not need to constrain you to walk in His ways (eg., Rom 6:1-2,17-23; 1Cor 6:19,20). But if necessary, He will severely chasten a disobedient believer (1Cor 11:27-32).
     This analogy can also be applied to the unrepentant sinner, who refuses God's deliverance from sin. His foolish rebellion may require legal authorities to rein him in and restrain him (Prov 26:3; Rom 13:3,4).
many sorrows shall be to the wicked {ie., the ungodly, the guilty}...
The 'wicked' are the unsaved, who without respect for the Lord continue in their wicked ways (eg., Psa 10:4,13; 11:5). Such will be overwhelmed with sorrows at the Judgment (Psa 1:5,6).
but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about...
In great contrast with the sorrow engulfed ungodly man, the repentant believer is embraced in the LORD's mercy {HB=chesed, loving kindness}. This loving kindness is all encompassing, including forgiveness of sin, the imputation of righteousness, and a new 'upright heart' overflowing with ceaseless joy and praise (v.7,11; Rom 5:1,2).
Are you such a 'blessed man'?

This Concludes the study in Psalm 32.
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