A Psalm of David. A Contemplation. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer. I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him. You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! (Psalm 32)
The Joy Of Forgiveness
Our psalm for the day is called a “maschil” or “contemplation.” The occasion is not declared but many believe it is part of the penitence psalms following the sin with Bathsheba. The introduction declares the theme of the devotion showing the joy in knowing the forgiveness of God. Whether the sin was as serious as the occasion with Uriah and his wife or telling a lie the principle remains the same. Forgiveness is enjoyed by the godly who seek the mercy of a loving Father. By the grace of God transgressions can be removed and sins hidden. The imputation of the filth of sin is cleansed by the Lord returning man to a state of wholeness. Godly sorrow leads to repentance and prayer is the avenue of redemption when men seek the cover of God’s blessings. The joy of forgiveness is knowing we can come before the throne of the Almighty and He will hear us, forgive us and give us grace to live with no fear.
Sin is ugly, painful and depressing. David was not a perfect man before Bathsheba and he was not a perfect man after Bathsheba. The shepherd king sinned in many ways and like all of us the measure of his action determined the nature of his sin. Forgiveness is not granted just for the ‘big’ stuff but for everything we do. Some things we do in life have greater consequence and require greater mercy. The common factor between all sin is the joy of knowing God is willing and able to remove our sins from us when we come to Him in a contrite and humble way.
David shares his physical sorrow experienced explaining “day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.” Sin has pain and sorrow can be more painful. Joy is found when the sting of sin is removed. Happiness returns when sorrow borne on wings of grief take the form of grace from the hand of God. How wonderful to feel the comfort of forgiveness.
Today is the middle of the week. Reflect on the past few days and how our Father loved us and forgave us of sin. Be resolved this day and the rest of this week to walk more boldly in this world of sin reflecting the light of Jesus Christ feeling the joy that His grace will bless our lives with joy and hope. There is reason to live. He lives and because He lives I can live with joy.