The Way of Forgiveness Traversed by the Righteous

The title of the psalm is alternatively rendered in the margin as, ‘A psalm of David giving instruction.’ And the content of the psalm is an aspect of experience on which we need continual teaching. The fundamental topic within it is sin, that which ruined man and continues to plague even the believer. 

David, from personal experience, counsels us not to try and hide our sin, or ignore it, or silently continue as if it is unnoticed, but to immediately confess it. To suppress penitence will depress our spiritual life. Unless we humble ourselves under the mighty Hand of God, that mighty Hand will be heavy upon us, so that the very sap of our spiritual life will be dried up. 

David acknowledges and then confesses his iniquity, and knew immediate forgiveness. John exhorts us, “That if we confess our sin God is faithful and just to forgive us our sin.” The man who does this will be blest, for his iniquity has been imputed to Christ, by whom there is forgiveness of sins.


Psalm 32

   1  O blessed is the man to whom
         is freely pardoned
      All the transgression he hath done,
         whose sin is covered.

   2  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord
         imputeth not his sin,
      And in whose sp'rit there is no guile,
         nor fraud is found therein.

   3  When as I did refrain my speech,
         and silent was my tongue,
      My bones then waxed old, because
         I roared all day long.

   4  For upon me both day and night
         thine hand did heavy lie,
      So that my moisture turned is
         in summer's drought thereby.

   5  I thereupon have unto thee
         my sin acknowledged,
      And likewise mine iniquity
         I have not covered:

      I will confess unto the Lord
         my trespasses, said I;
      And of my sin thou freely didst
         forgive th' iniquity.

   6  For this shall ev'ry godly one
         his prayer make to thee;
      In such a time he shall thee seek,
         as found thou mayest be.

      Surely, when floods of waters great
         do swell up to the brim,
      They shall not overwhelm his soul,
         nor once come near to him.

   7  Thou art my hiding-place, thou shalt
         from trouble keep me free:
      Thou with songs of deliverance
         about shalt compass me.

   8  I will instruct thee, and thee teach
         the way that thou shalt go;
      And, with mine eye upon thee set,
         I will direction show.

   9  Then be not like the horse or mule,
         which do not understand;
      Whose mouth, lest they come near to thee,
         a bridle must command.

  10  Unto the man that wicked is
         his sorrows shall abound;
      But him that trusteth in the Lord
         mercy shall compass round.

  11  Ye righteous, in the Lord be glad,
         in him do ye rejoice:
      All ye that upright are in heart,
         for joy lift up your voice.


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