Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Confess and Be Forgiven

[A Psalm of David; Maskil]

1 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.

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.

5 I acknowledge 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.

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.

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.

—Psalm 32 KJV Bible

This psalm of David is a song of forgiveness. It has been suggested that this psalm is a follow-up or a revisit of Psalm 51, in which David confesses his sin with Bathsheba. In this psalm, David describes the blessing of forgiveness which followed his chastening and confession. David then encourages others to seek the Lord’s deliverance rather than stubbornly refusing to follow Him. Finally, David encourages them to rejoice in the Lord.

The psalm superscription states this is a “maskil,” a Hebrew word meaning “a hedge.” In the context of the psalms, it is thought to mean either a contemplative or teaching psalm, or a psalm written in a clever way. Thirteen psalms are described as "maskils." they include Psalm 32, 42, 44, 45, 52-55, 74, 78, 88, 89 and 142.

In verses 1 and 2, David uses the Hebrew writing style of parallelism to reinforce his thought: how happy is the person whose sins have been confessed to God and are forgiven. In verses 3 and 4, David explains that he sinned and "kept silent,” not immediately confessing it to God. Still, God knew. God chastened David physically and emotionally. In verse 5, David reports that when he did confess, God forgave.

In verses 6 through 10, David encourages others to seek the Lord’s deliverance. In verses 6, David is speaking to God, reflecting on God's forgiveness and protection when sins are confessed. In verse 7, David affirms that the Lord is protector and savior.

In verses 8 through 10, David is speaking, instructing the listeners on the basis of his own experience. He advises them not to be stubborn, but to trust in the Lord and His faithful love.

In verse 11, David speaks to those who confess their sins and are forgiven. He encourages them to rejoice in the Lord.

Father, You know how often I fail You. Help me not to hang on to my sin, but to confess it to You, receive Your forgiveness, and rejoice in Your blessings.


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