Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Psalm 32:1
Mack, having struggled with drug abuse and sexual sin, was desperate. Relationships he valued were in disarray, and his conscience was beating him up. In his misery, he found himself unannounced at a church asking to speak with a pastor. There he found relief in sharing his complicated story and in hearing about God’s mercy and forgiveness.
Psalm 32 is believed to have been composed by David after his sexual sin. He compounded his wrongdoing by devising a sinister strategy that resulted in the death of the woman’s husband (see 2 Samuel 11–12). While these ugly incidents were behind him, the effects of his actions remained. Psalm 32:3–4 describes the deep struggles he experienced before he acknowledged the ugliness of his deeds; the gnawing effects of unconfessed sin were undeniable. What brought relief? Relief began with confession to God and accepting the forgiveness He offers (v. 5).
What a great place for us to start—at the place of God’s mercy—when we say or do things that cause hurt and harm to ourselves and others. The guilt of our sin need not be permanent. There’s One whose arms are open wide to receive us when we acknowledge our wrongs and seek His forgiveness. We can join the chorus of those who sing, “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered” (v. 1).
Where do you run when you find yourself burdened by something you’ve done or said? When someone comes to you who’s struggling with guilt, how do you advise them?
Father, forgive me for the times when temptation has won in my life. Help me always to run to You for forgiveness and to seek the forgiveness of others when needed.
The book of Psalms contains various types of songs, including worship, thanksgiving, creation history, and salvation history. One common type is the lament psalm, where the singer grieves over something. In many of David’s songs of lament, he mourns that his life is under attack, first by Saul and then later by Absalom. In Psalm 32, however, David isn’t lamenting the attacks of others but rather his own sinfulness and failures. Though the Scriptures don’t tell us specifically, many scholars connect Psalm 32 with Psalm 51 and David’s repentance following his sin with Bathsheba. Nevertheless, this lament quickly shifts to a song of praise and thanksgiving for God’s forgiveness, kindness, and restoration. While it’s appropriate to grieve over our spiritual failures, it’s also appropriate to celebrate God’s great mercy. David does both in Psalm 32.