The Confession – Psalm 32

Confessing sin is the outcome of trust. If we confess our sins, it implies that we trust God. Trusting a person will give us the confidence to tell them everything. A genuine confession is the first step towards receiving forgiveness from God. Confession replaces our guilt with peace. But people hesitate to confess their sins primarily for two reasons. The first is not trusting God completely, and confessing their sins will ruin their social standing. The other reason is that people do not want to come out of their sins. Yet, they use the grace of God as a cover to continue in their sinful ways.

Our Sins Are Covered

Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
whose sin the LORD does not count against them
and in whose spirit is no deceit.

Psalms 32:1-2

Before God atoned His Son for our sins, He covered our sins by His grace. God told the sinners to sacrifice an animal and get pardoned for their sins. The Law of God is to deter people from sinning because of the burden imposed on them by the offerings. God wants people to realize why should an animal be killed for none of its faults. But people mistook it for a privilege to transfer their guilts onto others and get a clean chit. The trait of blaming others for covering their sins was in the blood of man right from the beginning. Even before the formulation of any law, Adam shifted his guilt to Eve without remorse. God made Adam and Eve as one flesh and the blame placed on Eve rested on him also. Even among believers, this technique applies in a little different way in that one who blames others is well versed in the very sin that they are putting on another.

However, God does not want people living with a guilty consciousness hence He killed an animal in the garden of Eden and clothed the guilty couple with its skin. The guilty couple felt happy about not being exposed and never bothered to think about the animal that gave them its skin. Because the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God (Hebrews 9:13-14)!

Despite our blameworthiness, this Psalm reveals the heart of God that never wants to count any sins against us. Adam and Eve were not deceitful but ignorant of the death of an innocent animal. Even today, God does not count any sins on us despite our ignorance about His sacrifice. Yet people go to church to ask God not to expose their sins to others and to cover them. Very few people ask God to forgive their sins and are determined to serve the living God.

The Outcome Of Hiding Our Sins

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.

Psalms 32:3-4

The Psalmist shared the pain he suffered while trying to cover his sins by His grace. Once we have the assurance of forgiving our sins, we expose our past feelings to others. If we are still hesitant to reveal our past mistakes and their repercussions, it is evident that we still do not receive the forgiveness freely available to us. Every sin gives us momentary pleasure, suppresses our freedom, and trades our willingness to confess our sins to God with the social stigma.

To reveal the goodness of God to others, we should tell others how ruthless we were and now how God has changed our lives gloriously. Isaiah told how his unclean lips got cleansed by the fire of God. Paul exposed himself as the foremost sinner to prove the word of God to be trustworthy (1 Timothy 1:15). Unless and until we explain to people the scorching heat of the sun and its ill effects on us, we can not explain the bliss of the shade to them.

Many people expect the effect of the word of God in their lives with wrong notions and do not get answers. Instead of correcting themselves, they get angry at God and resist proclaiming His word to others. Prophet Jeremiah had gone through one such experience that affected his bones (Jeremiah 20:9). Let us learn to resist the devil and proclaim His faithfulness to others.

Assurance Of Forgiveness

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.

Psalms 32:5

The Psalmist took a wise decision not to hide his sins anymore and confess all his sins to God. Whether we disclose it or not, God knew every sin of us. God let Judas know of his treacherous plot, but it did not change his life. God foretold Peter the exact time of his betrayal even before he committed it. Our God knows our past sins and the sins we are yet to commit. This Psalm replaced the contemporary practice of ritual sin offerings with a genuine confession followed by an assurance of forgiveness.

Even today, some people still expect God to forgive their sins without knowing that God had forgiven them on the Cross two thousand years ago. It is bewildering to understand the unshakable faith of the Psalmist that even before his confession, he believed that God had forgiven his sin. Do we have assurance about the forgiveness of our sins?

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Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
will not reach them.
You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Psalms 32:6-7

With the joy obtained through his communion with God, the writer wonders if everyone should pray to God to experience what he felt, and he suggests that they should pray when God is available. To meet a doctor, we reschedule our work to fit their timings according to the available slots. Bible tells us that the wee hours are the best time to converse with God. We find the Psalmist suggesting the morning time to call upon His name in many places. The scripture also tells us that God is available when our heart is broken (Psalm 34:18). These are the suggestions to seek him when our heart is ready for yielding, and it does not mean God is available only in those slots (Acts 17:26-27).

If we cling to His promise that we will never leave Him nor forsake Him (Hebrews 13:5), we will have Him as our hiding place, a protection during our troubles, and He will become our song of salvation. In the New Testament era, we have the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses every sin.

His Counsel

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
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.

Psalms 32:8-9

Innumerable voices are available in this world, and our ears are receptive to the voices accustomed to us. If we spend time with God all the time, we will be tuned to receive His voice in this tumultuous world. The writer had experienced this as he practised being with God all the time. As such, His heart is tuned to receive His promises, and His warnings did not hurt him. God does not want to treat us as five-sense animals, but He wants to have us as His children to enjoy His heritage. For this reason, He always counsels us to choose a good path. Let us tune our hearts to receive His counsel and shed away all other miserable voices trying to mislead us.

Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the LORD’s unfailing love
surrounds the one who trusts in him.
Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous;
sing, all you who are upright in heart!

Psalms 32:10-11

If our hearts are tuned to receive voices other than from God, then we will sin along with the wicked and earn His wrath. Hence this Plsam suggests not to waste our time by recalling our sufferings or listing out our enemies but by pondering about His trustworthiness and rejoicing in Him. Though we have transgressed and sinned, this Psalm encourages us to be honest in our confession with no deceit in our hearts.

God, Help us to trade all the griefs and lamentations of our hearts for your peace. Give us strength to honestly confess our sins. Pour out your joy of salvation in our hearts. 

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