Gracious Father, I’m thankful that You give me strength for today’s demands, patience in problems, and power for pressures.
Read Psalm 32:1–11
Of David. A
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Level with God. Talk openly, squarely with him. He will forgive. The cross is his pledge. His word is his bond. Happiness begins with forgiveness and nowhere else” (David Hubbard, 1928–1996).
Honesty in any relationship is key, and nowhere is this more apparent than in how we treat the sins that offend God. Western culture especially tells us every day that doing what feels good should be our guide, rather than right and wrong. Politicians routinely refer to their abuse of power and immoral actions as “a mistake” or “an error in judgment” while they hang on to their positions. It is hard not to be influenced by all of this and not lose our sensitivity, as Christians, to the seriousness of sin. The psalmist tells us that the truly happy person is the one whose sins are forgiven and in whom there is no deceit (1,2). For some, the temptation is not to admit the guilt; for others, the challenge is to recognize wrongdoing for what it is in the first place. Paradoxically, those who do not cover up their sin (5) but acknowledge it will find their sin covered and forgiven (1).
As in friendship or marriage, admitting wrongdoing and forgiveness is a necessary condition to building an honest relationship. This is only the foundation, however, and there needs to be ongoing communication and time spent together. Seeking God in prayer in the good times is necessary, so that when trouble comes we will not be overwhelmed by it (6) but be sustained and hidden in God (7).
As the relationship deepens, we can grow in discernment of God’s will, so we do not need to be prodded and pushed like animals (9) but will respond to his gentle prompting, the counsel of his loving eye (8).
In what ways could you compare yourself to the horse or the mule (9)? What’s the essence of this psalm for you?
Merciful Lord, don’t let the anguish and the insight of the psalmist be lost on me. Teach me to delight in coming to terms with You.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.