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You forgave the guilt of my sin
Psalm 32:5 To receive the forgiveness of God, we need to confess and repent. Only then can the guilt and shame of sin be lifted.
“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.”
Psalms 32:5 NASB1995
Today we look at a verse from another Psalm of David, this one referred to as a “maśkîl” (מַשְׂכִּיל), the Hebrew word meaning “a poem, song, or poem of contemplation”, alternatively as “instructive; a didactic poem”.
David’s psalms certainly can be instructive. I always find it kind of heartening that one of the human ancestors of Our Lord was not perfect — if David, with all of his many sins and faults during his life, could be considered a forefather of Christianity and Judaism, then we sinners have a chance for greatness as well!
Here, David is talking about the goodness of confession and forgiveness. What’s the sin that David is talking about? The correct answer is probably lost in the mists of time, but it’s likely that he is referring to his sexual dalliances with Bathsheba and murdering her husband Uriah the Hittite. Sexual immorality and murder were — and still are — offensive to God and mankind. David’s sins were the first problem, which he then followed up with another problem — he was living a double life to cover up those sins!
God wasn’t about to forgive the initial sins until David was ready to repent of the coverup! We’re not just talking about a simple “I’m sorry that I sinned” — God wanted David to acknowledge what he had done, feel deep regret for the immorality and murder, and promise never commit those sins again. Admitting to God about the nature of his sin and feeling guilt about it — confession — was the path to forgiveness.
David didn’t earn forgiveness of his sins through confession, but he did receive it from God, and his fellowship with God was restored. Remember the story of the prodigal son? He confessed to his father and was immediately forgiven; the same happened to David when he confessed to The Father.
God forgave David, at which point he ended this verse and followed up with a Selah (Hebrew: סֶלָה). What does that mean? Lexicologists are uncertain on the meaning of the word, wavering between “pause” and “exalt”. I like to think that it means the latter — after David tells us that he confessed and repented of his sin and was forgiven by God, he’s taking a short break to praise the Lord.
In one short verse, David provides an important lesson for all of us; to receive the forgiveness of God, we need to confess and repent. Only then can the guilt and shame of sin be lifted.
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
Father in Heaven, many times in my life I’ve strayed from Your path, stumbled, and fallen flat on my face. Thank You for always being there to listen to my admission of my faults, and for being ever-faithful in forgiving my sins and cleansing me from unrighteous living. May I always follow Your perfect light so I stay on Your path, and may my life be a blessing to You. This I ask in Jesus’ name, AMEN.