Summary: 3nd in 5 part series on overcoming the obstacles and difficulties of life using 5 different Psalms. We used a "journey" or "road" metaphor, i.e.,bumps of success, fear, guilt, the religious rut and grief, etc.
WASHING OFF THE GRIME OF GUILT
Navigating the Bumps of Life - Week 3
The story is told that Noel Coward, the well known playwright, as a prank, once sent an identical anonymous letter to 10 notable men in London. The note said, "We know what you have done. If you don’t want to be exposed, leave town." Within 6 months, all 10 men that received the letter, moved! Now, that was a terrible prank, but it show the awesome power of guilt. Guilt is a horrible burden to bear and some have such a heavy grime on our spirits that nothing seems to be able to remove it. Well, as we continue looking at how to navigate through the bumps of life our Psalm today gives us some hope and help in conquering this powerful problem.
Before we get too deeply into this topic it is important to understand our Psalm. This is a song written by a man named David. David was a shepherd boy who was favored by God and became one of the most well known and successful Kings of Israel. David was a good man. In fact, the Bible describes him as a “man after God’s own heart.”(1 Sam. 13:14 NLT) But, as good as David was he was far from perfect and he knew guilt. In fact, Psalm 32 is a song that describes his own personal experience.
David’s worst time came after he was king. David’s troops are out to war and David should of been with them but wasn’t. And one evening while walking on his porch he sees a beautiful woman bathing. Now, I’ve often wondered what a woman is doing bathing where she can be seen but nevertheless, David likes what he sees and calls her to his palace. Now, both David and this woman, who’s name is Bathsheba, are married but it doesn’t matter and their lust is consummated by committing adultery. It isn’t long until David begins to reap what he has sown as Bathsheba tells him that she is pregnant with his child. He knows he is wrong and tries desperately to cover up. He calls her faithful husband, Uriah, in from the battle field to spend the weekend with his wife, thus in a timely fashion, making him think when the baby is born, that it is his. But Uriah, is too faithful, both to his wife and the King, will not go to his wife, because he will not seek pleasure while his fellow troops fight for the King. Now, what do you do with a faithful soldier? What do you do with a pregnant mistress? Well, right out of today’s headlines, David conspires to have Uriah killed. The King sends Uriah back to battle with secret orders. The orders tell the captain of the army that Uriah is a traitor and he is to be put in the hottest part of the battle and then left.. That’s what happened and Uriah is killed. It was premeditated murder of the worst kind. David: an adulteress and murder!
A year goes by. The secret of David’s sin seems, covered beneath the blanket of time. But what was a secret sin on earth is an open scandal in heaven and so God sends the prophet Nathan to confront the King. Nathan tells him that God knows what he has done and David, being confronted with his evil deeds, falls to his face and cries, "I have sinned!" You can hear the anguish of his guilt in Psalm 51 which is where David finally cries out in guilt. In fact, when you read Psalm 51 you almost feel like you are intruding into David’s private prayer room when you hear him cry out: "Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my shameful deeds - they haunt me day and night."(Psa 51:2-3 NLT) Here in Psa 32, which is written after that anguish, that we find that David has been able to wash off the grime of his guilt and his peace of mind restored. So let’s use David’s situation and learn about the power of guilt but also see that David was freed from his guilt. My prayer is after seeing what God has to say about this “bump” that we can sing confidently, like David did in vs:7.. "You are my hiding place, you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory."
I. THE EXPLANATION OF GUILT: Vss:1-2
First, let’s look at the explanations for our guilt. What causes guilt? Did you notice in the first two verses of this Psalm? The primary reason for guilt is disobedience. David says, in vss:1-2: Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! When David finally repented of his sin of adultery and murder he cried out: "Wipe out my offenses, purge me from every stain of guilt." (Psa 51:1 Moffat) You see, God has given to us, the ability to recognize right from wrong.