Living Word Church

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The Nature of Sin and the Blessing of God’s Forgiveness

A Closer Look At Psalm 32

After his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of one of his loyal soldiers, King David was tormented with guilt. For almost a year he tried to hide it from the public eye. Day and night it haunted him and God’s hand was heavy on him (vs. 4). It played a toll on his physical and emotional strength. David had lost his joy and the fellowship with God. Sin separates us from God (Is. 59:1,2), for it is an act against Him and His ways (Rom. 3:23). Sin hardens the heart (Eph. 4:18).

Even though no one knew, it was not hidden from God (vs.3,4). In His mercy, God sent the prophet Nathan, who publicly accused and condemned him (2 Sam. 12:1-23). When David acknowledged the wickedness he had done, God pardoned him upon his confession, and the promised forgiveness gave him immediate relief.

This caused David to write Psalm 51: ‘Create in me a clean heart, and renew the right spirit within me…’ He promised the Lord he would teach transgressors God’s ways (51:10-13). Psalm 32 is the first of those teachings (Maschil) on the nature of sin.

According to John Phillips, there are 15 different Hebrew words describing sin in the Old Testament (Exploring Psalms I, pg. 241). In Psalm 32, David uses four of those forms (vs. 1,2):

  • transgression: the sin of rebelling against God; any rebellion against parents, authorities, government…. (Is. 1:5; Deut. 13:5; Prov. 19:2);
  • sin: failure; missing the mark, or falling short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23,24);
  • iniquity: distorting, bending, twisting of the law of God’s Word; perversion (Is. 53: 6,11);
  • guile: deception or insincerity (see Jn. 1:47 – Nathanael had no guile).

When David acknowledged his sin, it included all these, showing that his confession was thorough.

David finds RESTORATION THROUGH PRAYER (vs.6). He makes himself available to let the Lord speak in his heart. There he finds in God a hiding place, and a peace that He would preserve him, despite the surrounding troubles.

In verses 8-11, we are introduced to another Speaker: the Lord Himself. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go”. When God tells us He will guide us with His eyes (vs.😎, it requires for us to be in closeness to Him and to look at His face! For God does not want to bridle His own (as a horse or mule), but desires us to yield freely (vs.9).

As David started this Psalm with a shout of glory, at the end it is the Lord Himself Who encourages the upright in heart to rejoice. For in Christ, there is no charge against us, for He bore our sins in His own body on the tree…. by whose stripes we are healed (I Pet. 2:24). We have a lot to shout about.

Clap your hands, all you people, shout unto God with a voice of triumph! (Ps. 47:1).

Let Psalm 32 become our PRAYER FOCUS:

  • Three times David brings the reader to a pause or time of consideration: SELAH: At the point of his guilty conscience (vs. 4), when he asks for forgiveness (vs. 5), and when he finds forgiveness and restoration in the Lord through prayer (vs.7). May we also consider and draw to the Lord in prayer;
  • God saves anyone who comes to Him to seek forgiveness and restoration (Ps. 103:3; Rom. 4:7,8; 2 Cor. 5:19);
  • Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew the right Spirit in me… (Ps. 51:11);
  • May my spirit be conformed in His likeness and may there be no deceit found in me (Phil. 3:12-14);
  • Help us to confess our wrongdoings quickly and thoroughly;
  • Help us to be the first to forgive (Rom. 12:18);
  • If forgiveness is difficult because of injustice in the past, ask the Lord for help and strength;
  • May we yield to God’s instructions and guidance (vs. 8);
  • May we always enter His presence with thanksgiving and praise (Ps. 100);
  • If there is hidden sin in your heart, our heavenly Father is eagerly waiting for us to come to Him and forgive us ( Ps. 86:5); He knows us by name (Is. 43:1: Ps. 139:1-4);
  • Ask for a willing, submissive heart (vs.9);
  • Let no root of bitterness spring up and trouble you (Hebr. 12:15; Deut. 29:18; Eph. 4:31);
  • I Jn. 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness;
  • Thank the Lord for the forgiveness made available to us through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ;
  • Let everything that has breath praise the Lord (Ps. 150:6).

Please pray for the victims of the wildfires on the Island of Maui, Hawaii;. Pray for their leadership;

Please continue to pray for A Time To Grieve (see post Aug. 1).

FOR HIS GLORY