Intro: Psalm 32 is a perfect example of how the Lord interacts with the sinner who humbles himself and confesses his sin. It is a psalm that brings comfort to those of us who know the greatness of our sin because we can see the greatness of the Lord’s forgiveness.
A Maskil of David.
32:1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
5 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
6 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.
7 You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9 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.
10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.
11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Main Point: Psalm 32 is a psalm that is all about the grace, and blessing that is available to the sinner who humbles himself before the Lord (v 1,2). This psalm tells us that in our sin the Lord pursues us until we turn back to him and repent(v 3,4), and more amazing than that, the Lord forgives us immediately upon our repentance(v 5). David, having been a recipient of such grace, asks us to do the same(vs 6,7). Then the Lord himself addresses us, offering to be our teacher and protector . He also seeks to have us as companions. He wants us to be more than those who are pulled along and made to follow him by brute force(vs. 8,9). The Psalm then closes with a call for us to rejoice in the love of the Lord (vs 10,11).
Interesting Points: David begins by telling his listeners that the forgiven are truly blessed (v. 1,2). Which is slightly unusual because we don’t normally talk about sinners being blessed. Often times, we thank God that we aren’t horrible sinners like those guys over there. (Luke 18:9-14). This should serve to remind us how marvelous and wonderful is the blessing of the forgiveness of our sins.
I love that the Lord chased after David even while he was in his sin. It was the Lord’s hand upon him that finally got him to act and to come to place of repentance. This really illustrates for us that salvation is a work of the Lord from first to last. It is He who blesses us with forgiveness, and it he who chases after us so that we might repent and turn back to him. It is from Him, to Him, for Him and through Him. He is the first and the last in our salvation just as He is in everything else in this world.
Verse 5 is the one of the most glorious things we can see in this life time. A sinner, who has turned his heart back to the Lord and has confessed his sin. In that instant the Lord forgave David’s sin. It was done and over with.
There is also something interesting about the way David says that he did not “cover” his inequity. I see a man who did the opposite of what Adam did after his sin. Adam made fig coverings for himself and went and hid in the garden. David laid himself bare before the Lord, and hid nothing from Him. He was completely honest with himself and the Lord. Maybe that is what David was getting at when in verse 2 he talks about the spirit that is free from deceit.
I love verses eight and nine. Now instead of just David extolling the protection of the Lord, the Lord himself strides forward to speak directly to us. He promises to be our guide and teacher, and that He will watch us closely. He does ask something of us, however. He asks us to seek understanding and to not be like beasts of burden that only go where they are led and who will wander off if not kept on short leash. He asks us to engage with Him and to be His companion. What a privilege for the Lord to ask us to be taught by Him and seek to understand His ways! Ultimately he wants us to understand His ways so that we might walk in them too as we are transformed into His likeness.
Emotional Reactions: I bet I am not alone if having this psalm as one of my favorites. It’s a great reminder of the blessings that come from being forgiven and the way that the Lord is so willing to forgive those who lay themselves bare before Him. This Psalm has some really high moments that just make my heart sing and exult that we have a Lord who loves us – a Lord who loves to forgive us if we will simply come to Him and confess our inadequacies.
More than all that we have a God who offers to be our personal teacher and companion. How can your heart not begin to sing for love of God? How can we not join our voices with David’s, exhorting the people of the Lord to sing His praises?The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Quotation information. Purchase an ESV.