CONTEXT: Used as one of the early church’s penitential psalms (Pss 6; 38; 51; 102; 130; 143), this thanksgiving psalm focuses on the forgiveness of sins. The psalmist begins by extolling the blessings of forgiveness (vv. 1–2). He then shares how he suffered until he acknowledged his sin and was forgiven (vv. 3–5). He encourages the godly to pray to God, who preserved him from trouble (vv. 6–7). Yahweh then speaks, encouraging people to follow His instruction and teaching (vv. 8–9). The psalmist concludes by encouraging the righteous to rejoice in Yahweh (vv. 10–11). Faithlife Study Bible, Ps. 32
I think their are three important points to make regarding this psalm I will try and be brief:
v.1-2 Happy or blessed is the man whose sins are forgiven. As we noted in yesterdays devotional thought I can not remember ever meeting anyone who wants to be sad or unhappy. Here David says one key to happiness is confessing our sins and being forgiven by God.
Whose transgression is forgiven. We may lull the soul asleep with carnal delights, but the virtue of that opium will be soon spent. All those joys are but stolen waters, and bread eaten in secret–a poor sorry peace that dares not come to the light and endure the trial; a sorry peace that is soon disturbed by a few serious and sober thoughts of God and the world to come; but when once sin is pardoned, then you have true joy indeed. “Be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” Mt 9:2. Thomas Manton.
v.6-7 Prayer can never be under emphasized. C. H. Spurgeon said of prayer, “the very act of prayer is a blessing”. It is a twofold blessing in fact, for it blesses the person one is praying for and you who are praying.
For this shall every one that is godly. We are here furnished with a fact which does not appear in the history of David. It is commonly supposed that after his grievous fall, till Nathan reproved him, he had been careless and stupefied; and this has often been adduced as a proof of the hardening nature of sin. But the thing was far otherwise. He was all the while tortured in his mind, yet unwilling to humble himself before God, and condemn himself before men, as he ought to have done. He kept silence and endeavoured to pass off the distress by time, palliation, and excuse. But the repression and concealment of his anguish preyed not only upon his peace, but his health, and endangered life itself. At length he was reduced to the deepest penitence, and threw himself, by an unqualified confession, on the compassion of God. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee. Here we see not only that all the godly pray, but every one of them prays for pardon. This is the very thing which our Saviour teaches his disciples: “When ye pray, say, Forgive us our trespasses.” And this praying does not only regard the manifestation of forgiving mercy, as some would have it, but the exercise of it. William Jay.
v.10-11 Wicked vs. Righteous no matter the perils of life the Love of God for His chosen people will never fail. This gives us cause to rejoice even in the worst of times and especially in the best.
O sing unto this glittering glorious King.
O praise his name let every living thing;
Let heart and voice, like bells of silver, ring
The comfort that this day doth bring.
–Kinwellmersh, quoted by A. Moody Stuart.
What is it today you need to confess and be forgiven of to be truly happy?