Of David. A maskil.
1 Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord does not count against them
and in whose spirit is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night
your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
the guilt of my sin.
6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
will not reach them.
7 You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
9 Do not be like the horse or the mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you.
10 Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the Lord’s unfailing love
surrounds the one who trusts in him.
11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
sing, all you who are upright in heart!
(Psalm 32:1-11 NIV)
Today’s psalm was written by King David, likely after his sins of adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah (2 Samuel 11). This psalm is similar to Psalm 51, where David confessed his sin before the Lord and everyone.
Scholars indicate that Psalm 32 may have been written after Psalm 51. In fact, Psalm 32 may be David’s promise to the Lord:
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
so that sinners will turn back to you.
(Psalm 51:13 NIV).
David begins with the benefits of confession of sin and forgiveness from the Lord (vv. 1-2). David realized the blessing of God after confessing his sin, and not covering up (being deceitful) about his sin.
David was quick to remember the pain of covering up his sin, how it affected him mentally and spiritually as well as physically (vv. 3-4).
In verse 5, David confessed his sin before the Lord – all of it. David withheld nothing from before the Lord – and the congregation who heard this psalm. David was the king, and he lived as a public figure and a spiritual example before the entire nation. David did not care who knew about his sin – he wanted to be restored in right relationship to the Lord.
In fact, David goes on to encourage everyone listening to this psalm to seek the Lord and confess their sins and seek forgiveness (v. 6). David encourages everyone to confess their sin before it sweeps them away like a flood that destroys everything in its path.
David praises the Lord in verse 7 – God is the only safe hiding place, offering protection, provision, and comfort for a hurting soul.
Verses 8 – 9 are the Lord’s promise and warning to David (and to us). When we confess our sins before the Lord, He promises to guide and direct our paths, to instruct us in right from wrong, and to lead us in the way that we should go (v. 8). Otherwise, we will be led by others, just as a horse is led by its rider via a bit and bridle (v. 9).
The pain and woes of sin are many, but the Lord loves and blesses those who confess their sins and seek His face and trust in Him for forgiveness and reconciliation (v. 10).
After we confess our sins before the Lord, may we join David in praise and worship to the Lord who takes away the burden of our sins when we lay them down before Him (v. 11).
May this old hymn be on our hearts today, as a reminder of Psalm 32’s truth.