Psalms 32

Psalm 32

Blessed Are the Forgiven

A Maskil of David.

32   Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
    whose sin is covered.
  Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity,
    and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
  For when I kept silent, my bones 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
  I acknowledged my sin to you,
    and I did not cover my iniquity;
  I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
    and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
  Therefore let everyone who is godly
    offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
  surely in the rush of great waters,
    they shall not reach him.
  You are a hiding place for me;
    you preserve me from trouble;
    you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah
  I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
  Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
    which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
    or it will not stay near you.
  Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
    but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.
  Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous,
    and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!


Psalm 32 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

8 years ago, I was headed back from work driving north. My windshield wipers were frantically trying to keep pace with the torrential downpour of a typical Midwestern summer thunderstorm. As I turned to merge onto the highway, I spotted a young kid walking in the rain with cargo shorts and no shirt. He didn’t seem to mind getting wet, but I stopped and offered him a ride. He agreed and jumped in my car soaking wet. His name was Joe.

I quickly discovered that Joe was a determined teenager who had run away from home. He was heading toward Michigan. Somehow, in his mind, he believed that he could escape life’s problems by changing his geographical location. And his problems were extensive. Depressed. Addicted. Abandoned. Suicidal. The great equalizer for Joe’s fatalistic attitude was hope, of course, but that was nonexistent in his world. Even though he put up a good front about running away and starting a new life up north, his genuine feelings were revealed in his reflections on the past that he could seemingly never escape and never forget.

We stopped at Subway where he was able to eat for the first time that day as we continued to talk about his journey. Keep in mind that I was not a pastor at this time. In fact, I wasn’t even genuinely following Jesus. I was a typical 20-something newly married and totally self-centered. My focus was squarely upon my own goals, my own accomplishments, and my own happiness.

I picked Joe up because my humanity felt sorry for him, not because I wanted to tell him about Jesus. In fact, there was an annoyance factor present as I had assumed he just wanted a ride down the street and then I could go on my way. But as Joe forced me to look deeper at him, God forced me to take a deeper look at myself.

I knew about the hope of Jesus and was sure that He was the answer to the massive hole in Joe’s heart. But I myself wasn’t even following wholeheartedly so I struggled to know where to begin. How could I ask this young suicidal kid to follow the Savior that I myself wasn’t interested in following? He didn’t really know about Jesus and saw no reason to follow. I knew about Jesus, saw lots of reasons to follow, but refused to. As far as I’m concerned, the only major difference between Joe and I that day was that he had a terrible life and I’d had a pretty good one.

When God brings conviction, His hand is heavy upon us. He is unrelenting as He pins down every aspect of our lives and forces us to confront it. In the days and weeks that followed my encounter with Joe, I couldn’t shake the heaviness of my heart. I mourned the hopelessness of Joe’s life. But more than that, I was burdened by the fact that I was not prepared to offer Joe the source of all hope. The conviction I felt was like an anchor around my neck. I can relate to the feelings of the psalmist in chapter 32.

When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long.  4  For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah.

Psalms 32:3-4 NASB

I couldn’t work. I couldn’t sleep. I felt like I was wasting my life. So, I did what I had been taught as a child. I opened the Bible for answers. At that moment, God spoke. It wasn’t audible and it didn’t occur to me right away. It was a process of giving up what I wanted in my life in order to obtain what God had for me. But those moments in the Word allowed me to feel the heart of God. As I emptied my heart and confessed my sin, His desires became my desires.

I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.  6  Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.

Psalms 32:5-6 NASB

God is faithful. Because He loves us, He will place His heavy hand upon us bringing conviction to our hearts. As we respond to those convictions, He forgives and opens up new opportunities to serve and to grow. Where do you need to confess to Him today? Where is His hand heavy upon you?

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