“Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 2 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. 3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. 6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them. 7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. 9 Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. 10 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him. 11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!”
It’s here in Psalm 32 that we see the fruit of forgiveness, David starts first with the:
- Happiness of Forgiveness
David starts with a declaration of blessing for those whose disobedience has been forgiven. Not only is there joy for those whose sin is put out of sight, but this is in the plural meaning many or multiple joys. This is not a onetime blessing but a bundle of blessing. When you study out the Psalms you discover that this is the second Psalm to begin with the word “blessed.” The first is Psalm 1:1: “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.” Blessing comes to those who avoid sin and refuse to follow the rebellious. When coupled with Psalm 32 we discover that not only is there blessing for living right but when we do fail there is also forgiveness and blessing. The bible teaches that even when we blow it we can still be called blessed if we will seek the Fathers forgiveness. The first three verses provide a threefold description of what Charles Spurgeon, the prince of preachers, called the three-headed dog barking at the gates of hell. First is the word “Transgression” which depicts a defiant disobedience toward God. This is our rebellious revolt against God. Second is the word “Sin” which simply means to miss the mark of God’s perfection. This could either be through acts of commission or omission, the things we know we should or shouldn’t do. Third in verse 2 we find what at first appears to be the same word, “sin” but which is actually translated from the word “iniquity,” meaning crooked, or perverse. So why use three different words, to remind us that no matter what kind of sin we fall into we can still be forgiven and fully restored. Not only does David use a triad of words to talk about sin but also to express the fullness of our forgiveness. He starts with the word “forgiven” meaning to lift and remove a heavy burden by carrying it away. Forgiveness means that our transgressions are taken away. Instead of trudging along trying to carry them we let the Lord lift them from us. Unfortunately many of us are trying to bear our burdens because we have not come clean and confessed them to God and been forgiven. Next is the word “covered” which refers to that which is concealed, meaning our offense is put out of sight. It carries the idea that our sins are so covered that they will never again appear. Third we find the phrase, “not count against” which is where we get the words “reckon” or “impute”. It is the same word that is used in Genesis 15:6, where the Lord counted Abram as righteous because of his faith. God does not count our sins against us and in their place he has imputed the righteousness of Christ. As Romans 4 teaches us, we get Christ’s right standing before God and He gets our sin. Because of Christ’s finished work on the cross we can be forgiven and God erases our sin-debt from the books as if it never happened. Isaiah 43:25 tells us that when God forgives, He chooses to no longer remember our sin: “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” To be forgiven is to be free, no wonder David called those forgiven blessed. Forgiveness isn’t just a feeling it means that we are no longer under the sentence of sin. When the Father forgives it is forgotten never to be brought up again. Unlike the man who was telling his friend about an argument he had with his wife. “Every time we have an argument she gets historical.” The friend corrected him and said, “You mean hysterical, don’t you?” “No, I mean historical, every time we fight she drags up stuff from the past and holds it against me!” We have a father who forgives who will not get “historical” with over our confessed sin. Psalm 103:12 tells us: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” And Micah 7:19 says: “You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” David tells us at the end of verse 2 that God does all this for those in “whose spirit is no deceit.” This does not mean those who have no faults but those who readily admit their sins. It is referring to authenticity that we are not trying to hide our sin but bringing it to Him. The key to the Christian life is repentance; it’s not about pretending to be perfect but recognizing that we’re not and admitting it. We need to be honest and come clean about the fact that we are selfish sinners. Unfortunately many of us are dishonest about our sins, seeing ourselves as primarily good. We are no longer grieved over our transgressions. Today many Christians either have a casual almost careless approach to sin or they seem to be calloused. When it comes to sin not only have we become reckless but we have ranked it. We see some sins as small and others as substantial, we view some as white while others are black. Some sins are permissible even permitted while others are prohibited. We have respectable sin and rotten sin. Why do we tolerate some while others are taboo? Because we don’t take seriously the teaching of God word that ALL unrighteousness is sin. So let me ask you what sin are you sanctioning? Today we seem to have labeled gluttony, gossip, and greed as good sin and homosexual or home wrecking sin as horrible. Why are we so serious when it comes to labeling sexual sin but soft on social sin? No matter what you want to think, or how you try to rationalize and rank sin, there are no shades of sin with God. Sin is sin; unrighteousness is unrighteousness. We must recognize the rottenness of all sin, we must repent so that it can be removed. Are you settling when it comes to sin? How serious do you take your sin? Why would we be careless when the consequences could be catastrophic? We will never be sin sensitive until we take sin seriously. Why not take some time today to not only get alone with God but get real with Him. Where do you need to come clean, what do you need to confess so that you can experience the blessing of forgiveness and freedom instead of the bondage of sin?