Psalms of Thanks: Joy of Forgiveness

Focus: Psalm 32

Grace offered freely, but taken sparingly hurts us. David and Saul show us the power of God’s grace. David was an adulterer and a murderer. Saul had his problems. Yes, he had a pride. He offered a sacrifice when Samuel came too late. He was not perfect, but he never seems to sin as badly as David. Yet, David is honored and Saul is rejected by God. Why is that? I think that the difference can be found in what they did with God’s forgiveness. David repented and asked forgiveness when he was shown his sin. Saul would deny it and tended to brush off his sin as not being so bad. When grace was offered freely, David took it just as freely all his life. Sadly, many Christians are more like Saul than David. They try to manage guilt and not repent of it. David shows us why repentance is the best solution.

A. The folly of impenitence v.3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. David begins by telling of a time when did a grievous sin and tried to ignore it. This may be his sin of adultery with Bathsheba or another terrible sin. Yet God always knows and God does not permit His children to sin successfully. David began to feel the hand of the Lord on him and it caused him to get physically ill. It can happen to us as well. You see God chastens his children. He doesn’t want his children to just live with their sin. He wants them to change. God allows the pain because he loves us too much to watch us be destroyed.

B. The relief of forgiveness v.5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. When David sinned with Bathsheba, God sent the prophet Nathan to David to confront him with his sins. David stopped hiding the sin and immediately confessed it. God in that moment forgave David. There was no penance or probation. The guilt was taken away and the burden of sin was canceled. This is the joy that is offered to every Christian because of the cross of Jesus. Sin is taken away and we are given a chance to renew our lives and live with joy again.

C. The recovery as we hide in God v.7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. He will also help us recover. When David sinned with Bathsheba, it let loose a string of consequences in his family. A son raped a daughter. A son killed his brother. Sin often has terrible consequences. Yet, David was able to keep coming back to the Lord in all his troubles asking the Lord to help him with the consequences that came from the sins of his life. Our God loves us and wants to rebuild our lives. When we fall into sin, only God can rebuild our life and set things right again.

With repentance, sooner is always better than later. David waited months from the time he committed adultery with Bathsheba to the time when he confessed his sin. The longer a sin continues, the more that it creates a barrier between us and God. We have all known people who back away from the Lord. First, bible study or prayer lessens. Then worship becomes harder and they start to back away. We always feel like there is plenty of time to repent or to “get right with God”, yet for many that is not really true. When they finally are drowning in the consequences of sin, things have gotten so bad that it will be much harder to confess and put a life that is that far gone back to joy. Christians are going to sin. Sometimes that sin is small and sometimes it is a whopper. Yet the life of David shows that God wants to forgive sin and to deal with its consequences. He loves us and wants us to have the joy of forgiveness.