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. ~ Psalm 32:5
The words above are lyrics to a song or possibly a poem, a psalm, written by David, the King of Israel. Like many songwriters & poets, David communicated his emotions through words and music, pouring out his heartfelt expressions of love, anger, fear & contrition. Psalm 32 falls into the last category.
David committed several egregious sins during his lifetime, yet God forgave him when he confessed those sins…each and every time.
Around the time Psalm 32 was composed, David had been confronted about his sin of adultery with Bathsheba, another man’s wife. Not only did he have sex with her, she became pregnant with his child. In a desperate attempt to hide his sin, he first tried to get the man, named Uriah, to leave the battlefield and spend time with his wife, and by spend time I mean intimate time, which the man refused to do. David then instructed a military leader to ensure that Uriah be placed into battle where he was sure to be killed, which is what happened.
Most people would never consider bringing something this ugly, this heinous to God. But David knew God. He had spent years upon years in intimate fellowship with Him, learning to hear God’s voice and becoming acquainted with God’s character. He knew that God was merciful. He has experienced God’s mercy and grace in His life multiple times.
The beginning of Psalm 32 starts out like this:
Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those
whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,
whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
When I refused to confess my sin,
my body wasted away,
and I groaned all day long.
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.
We suffer physically, emotionally & spiritually when we refuse to acknowledge sin. It’s a heavy burden that produces guilt, shame, fear and condemnation. The more we harden our heart to the loving conviction of God, the farther away we drift from His grace, to the point where we cease to sense conviction and end up deceived and spiritually blind. This is a frightening place to be.
The next verse is the one at the top of the post, verse 5, when David finds sweet release & forgiveness:
Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
David was grateful and overjoyed once he came clean before the only One whose opinion mattered – God. And he didn’t leave it there. David wanted others to experience the freedom and joy that comes from owning up to one’s own sin, and the consequences that come if you don’t:
Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,
that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble.
You surround me with songs of victory.
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
Many sorrows come to the wicked,
but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord. So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!
Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!
I’m going to leave you with a scripture that I never tire of sharing. The truth is powerful, so don’t allow anyone or anything keep you from God’s loving arms of mercy –
Come, let’s talk this over, says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool! ~ Isaiah 1:18 The Living Bible