October 16, 2015
Today’s psalm: Psalm 32:1-11
We are all sinners, some of us much bigger sinners than others. So at times, knowing how we have sinned, we might find it hard to forgive ourselves. One disastrous consequence of that for some is that they then give up and just persist in their sin. That of course cannot be an option for us. We do need to be restored to God.
For others, they might be reluctant to go to God to seek forgiveness. It might be due to stubbornness (like a mule), lack of understanding (of God’s mercy), or anger (at self or even at God). This is what the psalmist tells them: “Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding; with bit and bridle their temper is curbed, else they will not come to you.” (v.9).
What is needed is humility and trust in God’s mercy. “Many are the sorrows of the wicked one, but mercy surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.” (v.10).
Why would we persist in the misery of sin, when total relief is available? “Because I kept silent, my bones wasted away; I groaned all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength withered as in dry summer heat.” (v.3-4). Sin is misery. But relief is simply a matter of repentance and confession. “Then I declared my sin to you; my guilt I did not hide. I said, ‘I confess my transgression to the Lord,’ and you took away the guilt of my sin.” (v.5). We admit our sin, we repent of our sin, we confess our sin to God.
Then God forgives us. Then God wipes the slate clean. Then we can start all over again. Thus we are truly blessed. “Blessed is the one whose fault is removed, whose sin is forgiven. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt, in whose spirit is no deceit.” (v.1-2).
What sinner would not want that? What person would prefer to wallow in the misery of sin when he can be raised out of the mire? One just needs to trust in God’s mercy and go to Him. “Therefore every loyal person should pray to you in time of distress.” (v.6a). This is especially true during these difficult times, when a tsunami of evil is upon us, and we can be lured into falling into sin. God is our protection. “Though flood waters threaten, they will never reach him.” (v.6b).
God wants us safe and secure. God bids his angels to guard over us. In fact God (if you can imagine it) whoops it up with joy whenever He is able to protect and preserve us. “You are my shelter; you guard me from distress; with joyful shouts of deliverance you surround me.” (v.7).
And God continues to instruct us. When we fall and rise, there are valuable lessons to be learned. We learn more about the dangers of the world, the flesh and the devil. We learn how to walk in the midst of dangers all around. In all that time, God is there, like a father watching over his child. At times He allows us to fall, in order that we might end up wiser. “I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk, give you counsel with my eye upon you.” (v.8).
God’s goal is maturity in Christ. It is holiness and righteousness. It is perfection. This is our walk in our earthly pilgrimage, where there will be ups and downs. Underpinning it all is God’s mercy. We must trust in God’s mercy. It is key to living lives in the Lord. And thus we are able to rejoice. “Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; exult, all you upright of heart.” (v.11).
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