Scripture: Psalm 32:1-11
1 Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven,
2 whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
4For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.
7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
9 I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. 10 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.
11 Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!
In keeping with the healthy reality of facing life and death head on, it is necessary to likewise face our sin head on for it is the reason we have death in the first place. Facing our own sin forthrightly involves repentance, one of the key themes of this season. Confessing involves facing our sin honestly, not making excuses, saying no to continued sinning, and repenting.
Repenting involves viewing our lives as God does. David writes in the second verse of Psalm 32, “blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against him, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” What matters is not what you and I think about our own sin, but rather, what God thinks about it. We are also reminded that deceiving ourselves about our sin does not bring blessing either. Keeping quiet about it, ignoring it, or pretending it didn’t happen or doesn’t exist, does not make it go away. Unrepentant sin eats at us continually. It is an osmosis that will not leave or dry out in time! It’s more like a growing mold. In verse five David has had enough. He finally acknowledged his sin to the LORD and did not try to cover it up anymore. He said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And wonder of wonders, God forgave him (and us)! In fact, God has already forgiven all your sin.
The word for “confess” in Greek is “homologeo,” means “same word.” In other words, to confess is to agree with God’s perfect assessment of my situation. Confessing is not a negotiation process with God! God does not need our explanation. I need to humble myself and bow before him. The resultant fruit is a clear conscience, blessedness (being on the right road), lifted guilt, and protection. Look at what the result of repentance is (v.8-10). The Holy Spirit 1) instructs and teaches us as we move along this pilgrim path; 2) the Holy Spirit counsels us with his loving eye on us. Notice it is his loving eye on us. 3) We are not to be stubborn like animals that need to be driven and controlled. 4) Those people who reject God’s care and voice are in for a rough time. 5) God’s unfailing love surrounds those who trust him. What joy there is in repentance. Again, notice the emphasis is not on what we have done wrong, but on the joy and care God wants to shower on us.
In Pilgrim’s Progress we see Christian, upon conviction coming to the place of repentance, cried out, “I perceive by the Book in my hand, that I am condemned to die, and after that to come to Judgment; and I find that I am not willing to do the first, nor able to do the second.” He saw his life as God did and began his pilgrimage of faith.
Music: “Miserere Mei Deus” Allegri Voces8 Brilliant and gorgeous. (I had the privilege of seeing and hearing this ensemble live. Yes, that are that good in person!)
The song is a Latin translation of Psalm 51 David’s psalm of confession.
Prayer: O Lord our God, grant us grace to desire you with our whole heart, that so desiring we may seek and find you, and so finding you, may love you, and loving you, may hate those sins from which you have redeemed us. –Anselm 1033-1109