Summary: Exposition of David's Psalm of reflection concerning the devastation of his sin with Bathsheba and the wonder of God's forgiveness.
“The Blessing of Forgiveness”
An exploration of Psalm 32
The last time I was with you, we explored Paul’s string of specific blessings that should inspire us to bless Him every time we think about them. He called the believers who gathered in Ephesus to bless the Lord who blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ. One of the blessings we explored was the blessing of full forgiveness in Jesus. The marvel of this much desirable act of Holy Deity on behalf of sinful humanity stands as a major foundation stone of our salvation.
Since we are in the middle of the season of Lent where believers are challenged to contemplate the sin that strains communion with God and sent Jesus to the cross, it would be appropriate to further explore the forgiving nature of God from the perspective of one intimately acquainted with the blessing of forgiveness; King David.
Historians traditionally identify two Psalms which poetically express David’s response to his sins associated with his adultery with Bathsheba.
Psalm 32 is the first of 13 maschil psalms. This word "maschil" is derived from a verb meaning "to be prudent; to be wise." It means "a contemplative song, a song imparting moral wisdom or instruction." It is a song that gives instruction. Mattoon's Treasures
Most agree that David composed Psalm 51 shortly after confrontation by the prophet Nathan and Psalm 32 at a time further down the road. In that Psalm (51:13), David vowed to teach sinners the ways of God.
Perhaps Psalm 32 represents his effort to keep that promise. Jews recited this Psalm annually at the Day of Atonement celebration.
The beauty of Hebrew poetry is the way it artfully expresses and inspires deep emotion. There are numerous ways to mine this mine full of golden nuggets of truth. My plan is to track David’s specific action through the Psalm and suggest seven gold nuggets of truth from this rich gold mine followed by a suggested setting for those gold nuggets in our life.
I. David celebrated the blessing of forgiveness. 32:1-2
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
Hebrew poetry rhymes thought rather than words. It expresses a thought in one line followed by a second line and even a third that expresses the same basic thought in different words. It creatively elicits a fuller grasp of the truth.
In the first two verses David uses four lines to express his basic thought.
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven.
Blessed is the one whose sin is covered.
Blessed it the one against who the LORD counts no iniquity.
Blessed is the one in whose spirit is no deceit.
The basic thought common to each line has to do with the sense of well being that comes from the realization of God’s forgiveness. Anyone who has experienced forgiveness by anyone is familiar with the feeling. David centered his thought to forgiveness by Yahweh by verse two. He utilized four terms to describe the sin side of the equation.
The word indicates a breach of relationship between two parties, an act of rebellion, revolt, a going beyond established boundaries, trespass.
The verb is found 580 times in the Old Testament and the noun 290 times communicating the idea of a failure to hit a mark, an act of turning away from obedience.
This term appears 231 times and means to bend or twist, distort or pervert.
This describes the act of deceiving, defrauding, misleading, lying.
Until we fully understand the gravity of our own sin against God, we will never fully appreciate the greatness of God’s willingness to forgive that sin.
Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Luke 7:47
A substantial variety of terms describing man’s failure to live according to God’s standard fill the pages of Scripture. The core of all sin involves a deliberate decision to disobey God. We can either disregard what He prescribes or practice what He prohibits. Many categorize them as sins of omission and sins of commission.
Both involve deliberately disobeying God. The choice to disobey God then branches out into a variety of specific sins. We first disassociate from Him (sin), and then we behave displeasing to Him (sins).
David employed four terms related to God’s action.
This term appears nearly 600 times in the Old Testament with a basic meaning to lift up, bear, carry, take away. It is what God does in relation to our sin.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:11-12