Summary: The great joy of being forgiven is realized and appreciated only when we confess our sins before God.

This week, we take a look into the original songbook of the church, the Psalms. For centuries, the Psalms have been turned to for comfort, for rebuke, praise. We find in them the right words to speak to God.

They speak to our minds and our hearts, because they probe the range of our experiences; they deal with the pathos of human life -- i.e. David's Psalm here: Joy, Pain, Relief

I. Joy (1-2)

Joy - real joy (makarios) - "Oh how happy!" - such as is used in the Beatitudes. That's the kind of joy the world is chasing after. Everyone wants that - face it: We want what makes us happy.

-Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, a distinguishing characteristic of God's children, something that we all ought to have "joy, joy,...down in my heart" (where?). It doesn't change, or go away in bad times. What's the source? What makes it happen? Knowing we are forgiven!!!

(A. Not because of being a Law-keeper)

-blessedness is not because we have perfectly kept the Law. It's because we have broken it and are forgiven!

-Romans 4:6-8 Paul quotes these 2 verses (1 & 2) in a discussion about the fact that our personal good deeds don't save us. We aren't justified by works. The good news is: I'm a sinner, and you're a sinner, and we can be forgiven!

- Ill - "I'm OK, You're OK." someone else came up w/ "I'm OK, you're a jerk!"

how about: "I'm not OK. You're not OK, but that's OK."

we can have joy because we Law-breakers can be forgiven.

(B. Because a man can be certain of his forgiveness)

-we can also have joy because we can have a certainty that we're forgiven.

Imagine if this had read, "...whose transgressions might be forgiven, whose transgressions are likely covered..."

-"forgiven" - in the Hb came from "to carry out of sight." Gk = to release, send away.

(Jer 1:20) "In those days and at that time declares the Lord, search will be made for the iniquity of Israel, but there will be none; and for the sins of Judah, but they will not be found; for I shall pardon those whom I leave as a remnant."

-If our forgiveness depended upon our own achievement, it would read something like: "...whose transgressions they might think are covered." But instead, it depends upon the goodness of Jesus: "My hope is built on nothing less than JESUS' blood and [His] righteousness!"

-Christians are more than just a people who have a keen awareness of their sins and everyone else's. They are a people with a deep joy because of a keen awareness that their sins are certainly forgiven!

C. The Joy that comes only with forgiveness

v11 - notice who David calls upon to rejoice; who is indeed happy/blessed. - righteous; upright in heart

-there's rejoicing in heaven over forgiveness - (Lk15) "There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

-But there's joy for the one forgiven as well. Remember the Ethiopian Eunuch - "went on his way rejoicing"

-Ill - how would you feel if someone came into your house and offered to pay off every debt you have right now? How would the US feel if several billionaires got together and offered to try to pay off the national debt? Think about it. You are not your own. You were bought with a price. The greatest debt there ever was - the cost of it was a perfect life. Jesus hung on the cross and said a phrase found at the bottom of receipts from 1st cent. Rome "It is finished!" = paid in full.

until there comes the joy of forgiveness, there is...

II. Pain (3-4)

This Psalm is a before and after picture. This is the before part. David experiencing a great deal of pain.

A. The Cause

-unacknowledged sin. failure to confess. cf v3a and v5a. He had no forgiveness - or if he did, he couldn't fully appreciate it.

-May well have been his sin w/ Bathsheba. Like many sins, David did all he could to cover up the fact that he had committed adultery w/her and that she was pregnant from it. Had her husband come home. He wouldn't stay w/his wife. Got him drunk. He still wouldn't go. Finally, had him killed, in a cover-up sort of way. All the while, rather than admitting he was sinful, David dug himself in deeper and deeper.

(I Jn 1:8) - If we claim to be w/o sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

B. The Result

(Prov 28:13) "He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper..." It's no wonder.

-v3-4 wasted away; groaning; feeling the weight of the Lord's hand; "life juices were turned into the drought of summer."

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