May 3, 2019

Speaking about Psalm 32 G. Campbell Morgan said, “It is a Psalm of penitence, but it is also the song of a ransomed soul rejoicing in the wonders of the grace of God. Sin is dealt with; sorrow is comforted; ignorance is instructed.”

It is said that St. Augustine had this psalm inscribed on the wall by his bed before he died so that he could meditate on it better.

Psalm 32:1–2 (NLT) — 1 Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! 2 Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!

St. Augustine, “The beginning of knowledge is to know oneself to be a sinner.” How true this is. If you don’t know that you are a sinner then you don’t know that you need a savior. If you don’t know that you are sick you won’t seek a doctor and if you don’t know that you are lost you won’t seek to be found. But David knew that he was a sinner. He sought the savior and he found him and now he sings for joy.  O what joy there is for the one who knows the forgiveness of God. The reason we see such a lack of joy in our world, in our nation and cities is because the majority of people do not know what it is to experience the forgiveness of sin by a loving and forgiving God. Most people aren’t honest enough to admit that they are sinners.

The word joy is in the plural form and commenting on this Charles Spurgeon says, “O the double joys, the bundles of happiness, the mountains of delight!”

Describing sin, John Trapp an English Anglican Bible commentator who lived in the 1600’s, says, “Sin is an odious thing, the devil’s drivel or vomit, the corruption of a dead soul, the filthiness of flesh and spirit. Get a cover for it, therefore.”

David uses three words in these two verses to give us a complete picture of sin:

  1. Disobedience = pešaʿ going away, departure, rebelling against God and his authority. Do you see how devastating sin is. It is departing from the only one who can save you.
  2.  Sin = chăṭâ˒âh, it means to fall short, to miss the mark like an arrow falling short of the target. In this instance the target was the law of God and sin in this instance was a failure to measure up to the law.
  3.  Guilt = ʿāwōn corrupt, twisted, or crooked.

James Boice sums up these three words for sin in this way. “The first describes sin in view of our relationship to God. It pictures us as being in rebellion against him. The second word describes sin in relation to the divine law. We fall short of it and are condemned by it. The third word describes sin in relation to ourselves. It is a corruption or twisting of right standards as well as of our own beings. That is, to the degree that we indulge in sin we become both twisted and twisting creatures.”

Also in the first two verses David uses three words to describe what God to put away sin.

  1. Forgiven = nāśāʾ to lift off and carry away. It is like we were toting around this huge backpack filled to the brim with sin. We stagger under the load but then it is lifted off, carried away and never to be seen again!
  2.  Sight =kāsāh this means to cover. The blood of the animal sacrifices covered the sin so that it could not be seen and the blood of Jesus also covers our sin and washes it away so it will never be seen again. This covering turns aside the wrath of God.
  3.  Cleared = ḥāšaḇ the sin that was charged to our account has been wiped away and it was put on Christ’s account and he took the punishment that sin demanded on the cross for us. We have a clean record, a clean slate!

Romans 4:7–8 (NLT) — 7 “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. 8 Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.”

What a wonderful thought to take with you into the weekend. 🙂

Be Inspired Hilltop!