Wednesday of Lent IV – Psalm 32

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
    whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
    and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
    my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

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

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.
You are a hiding place for me;
    you preserve me from trouble;
    you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
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!

When I first entered the ministry, I was blessed to have some senior members of our circuit, neighboring pastors who had many years of experience. They really helped me step into ministry with love and joy. Good mentors and teachers are a treasure from God. This psalm lets us sit at the feet and listen to one of the greatest teachers of all time, King David whom God raised from following the flock to become the king and shepherd of the whole nation of Israel. He offers us wisdom in this poem. But since we are not poetic people anymore, we may need to hear his words in another form.

Vss. 1-2: Blessed is the one who is forgiven – It is a good thing to be forgiven, not understood, not tolerated, not accepted for who we are – forgiven. Forgiveness is so much better than all those things. Forgiven we are not just OK with God; we are restored and enjoy his favor. He smiles on us.

Vss. 3-4: When I kept silent my bones wasted away – It might seem like a good idea to hide our sins and pretend they don’t exist. It isn’t a good idea at all, especially in the long-term view. Not only is this course of action unhealthy, but God will lay his hand heavily upon us. Repentance is what we need to do. 

Vs. 5: I said I will confess…and God forgave. The foolish thing about denying our sin is that we are denying ourselves the good that God would give us. God is gracious.

Vss. 6-7: Let everyone who is godly offer a prayer while God may be found. The end of the world started on the day of Jesus’ resurrection. We are hurtling toward the last day. There is a limited time frame for this to happen. Use it, this works!

Vss. 8-9: I will instruct you – don’t be like the horse or the mule. Don’t be foolish!

Vss. 10-11: The wicked have it bad. The one who trusts in God has it good.

Now read the psalm slowly and carefully. David says it so much more gracefully than I did.

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