The Joy of Forgiveness
A Psalm of David. A Contemplation.
1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah
5 I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah 6 For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him. 7 You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. 9 Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you.
10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him. 11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
The following commentary is from Warren W. Wiersbe’s book, ‘BE Worshipful’.
In this psalm, David shared four basic facts about sin and forgiveness that need to be understood by every believer.
1. The Blessing of Acceptance (vv. 1-2). Instead of starting with a catalog of his sins, David launched into the psalm with a song of praise for everybody in the assembly to hear. The first beatitude in the Psalms pronounces blessing on the obedient (1:1), but this second beatitude pronounces blessing on the disobedient who have been forgiven……David tried to cover his sins and pretend nothing had happened but the lord, chastened him until he confessed he had sinned. This vocabulary will reappear in verse 5. Forgive means to remove a burden; it’s pictured by the “scapegoat” in the Day of Atonement service, for symbolically the goat “carried” the sins of the people into the wilderness (Lev. 16:20……). Like Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:8), David tried to “cover” his sins, but his schemes didn’t work. They never do (Prov. 28:13), but when God covers the sins we confess to Him, they are hidden from sight and never seen again. (……1 John 1:7-9)……When we confess our sins, God cancels the debt, and it’s no longer on the books. As the children say, “It doesn’t count anymore.” Why? Because Jesus paid the debt on the cross and His blood cleanses the record and the heart of the offender. The forgiveness of the Lord is certainly something to sing about! It’s unfortunate that too many of God’s children take it for granted.
2. The Folly of Impenitence (vv. 3-4). Now David tells his own story and honestly admits what a fool he had been to hide his sins for almost a year……The Lord chastened David for almost a year and made him miserable until he stopped lying, humbled himself before God, and confessed his sins……According to Hebrews 12:1-13, God’s chastening is proof that He loves us and that we are genuinely His children……
The hand of God was heavy upon him, and instead of feeling fresh and full of vigor, he was dried up like a plant during a drought……But it was worth the pain, for the experience brought him back to the Lord.
3. The Way of Deliverance (vv. 5-7). The Lord sent the prophet Nathan to David to confront him with his sins and bring him God’s word of forgiveness (2 Sam. 12)……The king didn’t have to do penance or go on probation; all he had to do was sincerely confess his sins, and the Lord forgave him (1 John 1:9)……Instead of imputing our sins, the Lord puts the righteousness of Christ on our account, and we are accepted in Him (……Gal. 3:6). David offered no excuses; he admitted that he had sinned and was guilty before God. Guilt is to the conscience what pain is to the body: It tells us that something is wrong and must be made right, or things will get worse. The promise is for everybody…..and we must confess our sins immediately when we find them out and while God may be found……
……the Lord adds positive blessings to help us on the road to recovery. David exchanged hiding his sins for a hiding place in the Lord. God removed his troubles and put a wall of protection around him. Did David deserve these blessings? Of course not—nor do we! But this is the grace of God as found in Jesus Christ our Lord. “God’s kiss of forgiveness sucks the poison from the wound,” wrote Alexander Maclaren, and that says it all……God in His grace forgives us, but God in His government says, “You shall reap what you have sown.”…..
After David was forgiven and restored, he went to the sanctuary to worship the Lord (2 Sam. 12:15-23), and there with the other worshippers, he was surrounded by “songs (shouts) of deliverance,” that is, praise to God for His mercies. That’s exactly what David needed to hear!
4. The Joy of Obedience (vv. 8-11). God speaks to David in verses 8-9, assuring him that the joy of salvation would be restored to him (51:12) if he obeyed the Lord and walked in His way. David’s wrong thinking got him into serious trouble, but the Lord would instruct him, guide him, and keep His loving eye on him……
We are made in God’s image, but when we choose to knowingly rebel against God’s law, we descend into what the older translations call acting “brutish” (see 92:6; 94:8….) and modern translations “senseless”……
When he joined the assembly at the sanctuary of God (vv. 1-2), David began his song with the joyful announcement that God had forgiven him. Now he closed the psalm by exhorting the other worshippers to join him in celebrating the joy of the Lord……Years later, his son Solomon would write, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Prov. 28:13 NKJV).
I wish everyone a very blessed day.