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Psalm 32: The Blessedness of Being Forgiven

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Psalm 32:1–11 (ESV)
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!

Opening Prayer

A Maskil of David

A maskil, scholars believe most likely means a didactic psalm.
A psalm that is for the purpose of instruction in the ways of God.
Psalm 51:13 (ESV)
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
David is doing here in Psalm 32...what he promises to do in Psalm 51.
He is teaching the people the ways of God...
And the benefits of running into the presence of God.
In vv.1-2 King David makes a proclamation of truth.
In vv.3-7 King David is speaking to God.
In vv.8-11 King David turns and speaks to the people.

A Divine Proclamation from the King

Psalm 32:1–2 (ESV)
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.
Here King David proclaims this jaw dropping truth...
Regarding an astounding relationship that man can have with God.
An astounding position that sinful man can have with the holy God.
King David says...
Do you want to know what blessed really means?
Do you want to know where true blessedness really comes from?
And, then he describes blessedness in four ways.
Blessed is the one:
whose transgression is forgiven.
general rebellion against God & His Law.
whose sin is covered.
specific sins.
Blessed is the man:
whom the Lord counts no iniquity.
guilt from the above rebellion and specific sins.
in whose spirit there is no deceit.
All four of these phrases describe the blessed person.
But, only three speak to the same thing.
One speaks to a different element.
As a matter of fact, the fourth phrase is how one lays hold of the other three.
What does King David mean when he says...
in whose spirit there is no deceit?
We’ll look more deeply at that in v.5...
But, I want us to zero is on what the word blessed means in the Hebrew...
It means a state of bliss.
The Oxford Dictionary defines the word bliss as to reach a state of perfect happiness.
What puts a person in a state of blessedness, true bliss...
A state of perfect happiness...
It’s having your sins completely forgiven by a holy God.
Now, the eternally, infinitely important question is...
What will you do with this proclamation?
King David tells us from experience what happens when one rejects this truth.

The Promise Rejected

Psalm 32:3–4 (ESV)
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
King David is sharing with us here the experience of:
hiding one’s sin
denying one’s sin
feeling the weight of sin
knowing the guilt of sin
Listen to how he describes it...
When I kept silent…about what?
About his sin.
When David was in denial of his sin.
When David didn’t feeling like conversing with God about his sin.
When David had deceit in his spiritv.1
He says his physical and mental state were as if:
his bones wasted away.
groaning all day.
no strength to do anything.
no motivation to do anything.
no joy in what he did.
King David was miserable while trying to ignore, cover up, and keep his sin out of his conversations with God…
And, why would someone not want to discuss their sin with God?
Because to discuss it, is to first acknowledge it...
And, we are quite good at justifying our sin rather than acknowledging it.
And, we justify our sin in order to soothe our conscience while we keep trying to enjoy it.
But, David is saying that this path of denying and covering sin...
Is not enjoyable.
It’s like having a near death experience.
It’s a miserable way to live.
There is no true joy in such a situation.
Then King David says...selah/pause.
Let us pause & ponder this truth...
This reality that we’ve all experienced.
Are you experiencing this now?
Where are you at with your sin?
Is there open conversation with God regarding what you’ve done?
What you’re currently doing?
Are you discussing this with God while reading His word to acknowledge your desire for Him to search your heart?
Is there or is there not deceit in your spiritv.1?
Oh, how we live in such a culture in which it is easy to get busy.
It’s easy to avoid the silent meditation upon the Word of God...
While talking to God...
And asking Him to uncover your sin.
But to miss such opportunities...
Not only leaves us in the dreadful personal situation of vv.3-4...
It causes to miss the experience of the blessedness of v.1-2.
Look what led King David to vv.1-2...

The Promise Experienced

Psalm 32:5 (ESV)
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
Here we are told in three different ways what is to have no deceit in your spirit.
Here we are told how God deals with sin when it is taken to Him and confessed to Him.
This is absolutely breath-taking...
And a staggering truth regarding the character of God.
Remember in vv.1-2 we were told by three different phrases the way in which God deals with our sin.
And, one way that lays hold of God’s forgiveness.
Here we are told three different phrases how to lay hold of God’s forgiveness...
And, one way in which God deals with it.
It’s beautiful poetic redundancy to instruct us...
To help us not forget this wonderful gospel truth of the forgiveness of God...
And, how to lay hold of the forgiveness of God.
Psalm 32:6–7 (ESV)
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
.King David desires for the godly people to remember this truth, to practice this truth...
And abide in vv.1-2 rather than vv.3-4.
Experience vv.1-2 by practicing v.5.

Let the Godly Know, Remember, & Practice This Truth

David gives these illustrations of safety.
Safety in the presence of God, no matter what comes our way.
Death &Trouble
No matter, God will ultimately deliver me into the eternal bliss of His presence.
God will ultimately grant me access, experientially, what I already have in the forgiveness of God through JC.
And, now we see King David turn his words directly to the hearers...

Heed My Instruction

Psalm 32:8–9 (ESV)
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.
King David is saying, listen...
I’ve shown you how I was acting like the mule in vv.3-4...
And, yes I suffered anguish, physical/emotional weakness...
I felt like I had no life, no strength...
But, God did it to me so that I would turn back to Him.
He is the Good Shepherd.
He prefers us run to Him.
He prefers we skip vv.3-4 and dwell in v.5...
He prefers us to come to Him with no deceit in our spirit.
But, if we act otherwise, he will lay heavy pressure on us...
He will use means to cause us to not experience the bliss of forgiveness...
So that we will eventually remember what we are missing out on...
And, how easy it is to get to the right place.
But, God prefers us running to Him with uncovered hearts and confessing our sins before Him.
And, He will leave the 99 and come after the 1.
Don’t experience the physical/emotional drought.
Don’t allow yourself out of the experience of vv.1-2...
Stay near to the Lord without the bridle.
Stay near to the Lord by being quick to confess to Him.
And lastly...

Rejoice in the Lord

King David brings us full circle...
And, tells us what it’s like to not know the forgiveness of God...
Woe after woe after woe...
A lifetime of woes.
Never knowing forgiveness, and hence, never knowing bliss.
What’s superb is what King David could have contrasted with woes!
He could have said but health & wealth surround the forgiven.
He doesn’t because those things are fleeting.
He contrasts woes with what is lasting.
He contrasts woes with what is actually the remedy of woes.
The only thing that can cure our greatest problems...
The steadfast love of the Lord.
To be forgiven is to be loved by the Lord.
To be forgiven is to be dwelling in the reconciled, familial presence of the Lord.
You only come to God with your sin...
If you trust God.
If you trust God with your sin...
You enjoy the steadfast love of the Lord...
Which King David says is BLISS.
So, let the godly...
Psalm 32:11 (ESV)
11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

Closing Prayer

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