Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Psalm 32 (NRSV)
Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
While I kept silence, my body wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
Therefore let all who are faithful
offer prayer to you;
at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters
shall not reach them.
You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah
I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,
else it will not stay near you.
Many are the torments of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the LORD.
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
Sometimes our emotions are stirred so deeply within us that all we can do is sing. Music is an incredibly important part of my life. When I hurt the most or when I am at a loss for words, or even when I feel joy beyond expression, I find myself returning to the many songs that have helped me navigate life to this point. I imagine the psalmist experienced similar swirling emotions as he penned Psalm 32.
The tone of this psalm is one of elation, as if the psalmist just recently discovered a truth that had been hiding in plain sight. The revelation of the liberating power of confession and the glorious forgiveness of our God became too much for the psalmist and, I imagine, he had no choice but to put his emotions into song. I am reminded of the story in Mark 2, where Jesus told a paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Jesus didn’t claim to forgive the man’s sins on the spot, but he pointed to a reality that already existed: the man was forgiven whether he fully understood it (or whether the religious elite acknowledged it) or not.
Similarly, the psalmist exclaimed for joy in the revelation that forgiveness is always within reach. We are to share this revelation with others. As we experience all that God has for us today, let us rejoice in the truth that we are forgiven, and let us rejoice in the responsibility of opening our sisters and brothers’ eyes to their own forgiveness.
For the mighty gift of forgiveness and the revelation of your grace, Lord, we give you thanks. Although we stumble and fall on a daily basis, your forgiveness for us is new each morning, so allow us to rejoice in your goodness and grace. Furthermore, help us spread this gift to any and all who are in need of forgiveness today, and help us to forgive just as you forgive us. We ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Go with God.