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Psalm 32

The Joy of Forgiveness

Of David. A Maskil.

1

Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,

whose sin is covered.

2

Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity,

and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

 

3

While I kept silence, my body 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

Then I acknowledged my sin to you,

and I did not hide my iniquity;

I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”

and you forgave the guilt of my sin.Selah

 

6

Therefore let all who are faithful

offer prayer to you;

at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters

shall not reach them.

7

You are a hiding place for me;

you preserve me from trouble;

you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.Selah

 

8

I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;

I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

9

Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,

whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,

else it will not stay near you.

 

10

Many are the torments of the wicked,

but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.

11

Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous,

and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.


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Verses 1, 2

Sin is the cause of our misery; but the true believer's transgressions of the Divine law are all forgiven, being covered with the atonement. Christ bare his sins, therefore they are not imputed to him. The righteousness of Christ being reckoned to us, and we being made the righteousness of God in him, our iniquity is not imputed, God having laid upon him the iniquity of us all, and made him a sin-offering for us. Not to impute sin, is God's act, for he is the Judge. It is God that justifies. Notice the character of him whose sins are pardoned; he is sincere, and seeks sanctification by the power of the Holy Ghost. He does not profess to repent, with an intention to indulge in sin, because the Lord is ready to forgive. He will not abuse the doctrine of free grace. And to the man whose iniquity is forgiven, all manner of blessings are promised.

Verses 3–7

It is very difficult to bring sinful man humbly to accept free mercy, with a full confession of his sins and self-condemnation. But the true and only way to peace of conscience, is, to confess our sins, that they may be forgiven; to declare them that we may be justified. Although repentance and confession do not merit the pardon of transgression, they are needful to the real enjoyment of forgiving mercy. And what tongue can tell the happiness of that hour, when the soul, oppressed by sin, is enabled freely to pour forth its sorrows before God, and to take hold of his covenanted mercy in Christ Jesus! Those that would speed in prayer, must seek the Lord, when, by his providence, he calls them to seek him, and, by his Spirit, stirs them up to seek him. In a time of finding, when the heart is softened with grief, and burdened with guilt; when all human refuge fails; when no rest can be found to the troubled mind, then it is that God applies the healing balm by his Spirit.

Verses 8–11

God teaches by his word, and guides with the secret intimations of his will. David gives a word of caution to sinners. The reason for this caution is, that the way of sin will certainly end in sorrow. Here is a word of comfort to saints. They may see that a life of communion with God is far the most pleasant and comfortable. Let us rejoice, O Lord Jesus, in thee, and in thy salvation; so shall we rejoice indeed.




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