Friday, September 3, 2010

Psalm 32 – Truly, a Clean Slate

“Then I acknowledged my sin to you,

and I did not hide my iniquity;

I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’

and you forgave the guilt of my sin.”


~Psalm 32:5 (NRSV).

Whoever thinks that the grace of God is emergent only in the New Covenant premise of Jesus is sorely mistaken as they read Psalm 32—David assuaging his blood-guilt in plain sight of God.

Notwithstanding the genuine and superabundant heapings of fresh and powerful grace known the Saviour’s way of the cross—the forgiveness of all sin: past, present and future—there is a distinct measure of God’s forgiveness and grace accorded King David, and not simply because he was the Lord’s anointed...

He acknowledged his sin and did not hide his iniquity—in fact, he was being honest with himself before God.

Many Themes – Upright Heart, Instruction and Compliance

This psalm reminds us of Psalm 15 and the blessedness of an upright heart; a seeking for holiness.

In verses 8-9 there is the linkage between our instruction or discipleship and the fruit of that “teaching” or “counsel,” which is a personal free will aligned, and turned toward, the will, motive and purposes of God.

Perhaps the overall theme is of celebration; not simply of the grace resonant out of God’s forgiveness for the transgression, but for the fact that a more general and broadly applicable compliance with God is available.

The psalm celebrates we’re able to learn; that we have these second chances in life with which to re-apply. How good is God that we get second and sixty-second chances? How slow to anger and abounding in love is God?

God’s Inimitable Grace

As has always been, the nature of the Lord does not change.

Grace then is grace now, just the circumstances are different—our access to it is much more direct via Jesus’ crucifixion on the cross of Golgotha.

What David experienced—the full measure of God’s forgiveness—was no less what we can experience today. But ours is unconditional upon (an action-oriented) belief in Christ at the eternal level, and only conditional (in this life) upon our acts of confession and appropriate penitence on a living level.

We’re blessed for our honesty; no matter how embarrassingly torn we are to ‘fess up’ to God. The Lord knows anyway.

The best thing... we sin, we all do, and that’s okay—we have a way back, every time.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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