32:1 Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
32:2 Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
32:3 While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.
32:4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
32:5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
32:6 Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.
32:7 You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah
32:8 I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
32:9 Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding, whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle, else it will not stay near you.
32:10 Many are the torments of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the LORD.
32:11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
Experiencing God’s forgiveness and grace is a wonderful blessing. When we come to the point in which our confession is genuine God’s hand is always at the ready to extend forgiveness towards those who seek it.
Here the Psalmist is describing three different responses to sin. One is hard-hearted and the other is open and genuine. The last one is God’s response to our confession.
- The hard-hearted response (vs 3- 4): This verse describes one’s experience when they live with indwelling sin. It begins to impact them physically and even more so spiritually. The body “wastes away” and so does the heart. This is a picture of someone who is unrelenting and stubborn in their ways and unwilling to confess that there is sin in their hearts. It begins to affect every area of their lives. The description of the “heavy hand” is just how far God is willing to go to bring back His children into His loving arms.
- The genuine response (vs 5): I love how verse 5 begins with “then”. This just shows how much the person has reached a point of total and complete exhaustion over attempting to live with unconfessed sin their lives. Here the heart of a person is genuine and open and is ready to allow for God to come in and wash away sin and make them whole again.
- Gods response to our confession: Firstly God extends His hand of protection to all those who put choose Him over their sin (vs 6-7,10). Secondly, He offer us His wisdom and guidance on how to live a life that will keep us from harm and will honour him (vs 8-9). Lastly, through all that He’s done for us we always have a reason to praise and thank Him (vs 11).
Indeed, joyous is the person who right with the Lord. There is a reason why Jesus and John the Baptist emphasized the forgiveness of sins through confession. It’s because it not only puts us on the right side of things but we no longer have to carry the burden of those sins with us.
Many people believe the confession of sins is something we do just for God. While we do do it out of obedience to God, we must also know that we must also do it for ourselves. One time a woman walked into the church office of myself and a fellow minster, sat down, and confessed a crime to us. She just could not bear the weight of that sin anymore. Unfortunately, we are required by law to report the matter to the police. But even knowing she was going to be turned over to the authorities she was happier than when we walked in.
The sin we carry with us affects us. It wearies our soul. It puts weight on our shoulders and our hearts. We must make a regular practice of confessing our sin. I think this is one thing the protestant church has overlooked. Find a pastor or trusted friend, sit down with them, and lay your sins down before the Lord. God will forgive you and your friend will partner with you and help keep you accountable.
[featured image from untilsheflies.com]