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Blessed Are the Forgiven

A Maskil11Probably a musical or liturgical term of David.

1Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

3For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up22Hebrew my vitality was changed as by the heat of summer. Selah

5I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

6Therefore let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
they shall not reach him.
7You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah

8I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
or it will not stay near you.

10Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.
11Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!


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Ps 32:1-11. Maschil—literally, "giving instruction." The Psalmist describes the blessings of His forgiveness, succeeding the pains of conviction, and deduces from his own experience instruction and exhortation to others.

1, 2. (Compare Ro 4:6).

forgiven—literally, "taken away," opposed to retain (Joh 20:23).

covered—so that God no longer regards the sin (Ps 85:3).

2. imputeth—charge to him, and treat him accordingly.

no guile—or, deceit, no false estimate of himself, nor insincerity before God (compare Ro 8:1).

3, 4. A vivid description of felt, but unacknowledged, sin.

When—literally, "for," as in Ps 32:4.

4. thy hand—of God, or power in distressing him (Ps 38:2).

moisture—vital juices of the body, the parching heat of which expresses the anguish of the soul. On the other figures, compare Ps 6:2, 7; 31:9-11. If composed on the occasion of the fifty-first Psalm, this distress may have been protracted for several months.

5. A prompt fulfilment of the purposed confession is followed by a prompt forgiveness.

6. For this—that is, my happy experience.

godly—pious in the sense of Ps 4:3.

a time—(Isa 55:6); when God's Spirit inclines us to seek pardon, He is ready to forgive.

floods, &c.—denotes great danger (Ps 18:17; 66:12).

7. His experience illustrates the statement of Ps 32:6.

8. Whether, as most likely, the language of David (compare Ps 51:13), or that of God, this is a promise of divine guidance.

I will … mine eye—or, My eye shall be on thee, watching and directing thy way.

9. The latter clause, more literally, "in that they come not near thee"; that is, because they will not come, &c., unless forced by bit and bridle.

10. The sorrows of the impenitent contrasted with the peace and safety secured by God's mercy.

11. The righteous and upright, or those conforming to the divine teaching for securing the divine blessing, may well rejoice with shouting.




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