As I sit in summer in an apartment with no air conditioning, relying on what I lovingly call the “house breeze” to come through our open windows, this Psalm seems to be seasonal one with verse 4, “For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah”
But seasons are also metaphorical, in our Christian walk we have summers, winters, autumns, and springs. And in this Psalm we travel through several of these seasons, beginning with forgiveness of sins. Without it, David was wasting away. Summer has a lot of action from God, His hand is heavy on David, and yet, the heat can make working impossible. But once we admit our sin it brings the house breeze that cools and makes us forget the heat so we can work on God’s plan for growth in our lives.
We must pray to God, seek Him as our hiding place, and know that He is the one who preserves our lives, acknowledging Him as God, the Master Teacher. This brings us joy, and a plentiful harvest.
David—the Psalmist, the one whose transgression is forgiven, the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, the Lord, everyone who is godly, the wicked, the one who trusts in the Lord
Verse 3-5 “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”
Psalm 31:10 “For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.”
Psalm 22:1 “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?”
1 Samuel 5:6-7, 11 “The hand of the LORD was heavy against the people of Ashdod, and he terrified and afflicted them with tumors, both Ashdod and its territory. And when the men of Ashdod saw how things were, they said, “The ark of the God of Israel must remain with us, for his hand is hard against us and against Dagon our god.”… They sent therefore and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines and said, “Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it return to its own place, that it may not kill us and our people.” For there was a deathly panic throughout the whole city.”
Psalm 38:2-3 “For your arrows have sunk into me, and your hand hs come down on me. There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin.”
Psalm 51:3 “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.”
Psalm 38:18 “I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin.”
Job 33:27-28 “He sings before men and says: ‘I sinned and perverted what was right, and it was not repaid to me. He has redeemed my soul from going down into the pit, and my life shall look upon the light.'”
Proverbs 28:13 “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”
Luke 15:18-24 “I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me s one of your hired servants.”‘ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.”
1 John 1:8-10 “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he if faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
We are good, as humans, at ignoring our sin, or pretending it is not that big of a deal. Our sin is terrible, bad, the worst, and leads to death. We are opposing our Maker when we sin. We lie to ourselves and try to make God a liar.
But when we realize our sin, we also are good at wallowing, being swallowed by it, and we let ourselves continue to be deceived into thinking we ae damned.
However, as children of God, all we have to do is confess our sin, and he forgives us. In this Psalm, also, David confesses, and God forgives, simple as that. How amazing is our Lord! No wonder David ends this Psalm with exclamations of praise!
Jesus in the Psalm
“David explains two important concepts in this psalm: joy and righteousness (v. 11). Both are created by one divine action—forgiveness (v. 5). “Righteous” or “upright” (v. 11) cannot possibly describe those who have merited the title by their sinless perfection. Rather, the upright are made s by God’s forgiveness of their sins. It has always been this way (Rom. 4:1-8). This is the gospel preached to Abraham (Gal. 3:8). Understandably, the justified are happy or “blessed” (Ps. 32:1). Before forgiveness, they are rebels against God’s will (“transgression”; v. 1), wrongdoers (“sin”; v. 1), evil men (“iniquity”; v. 2), and liars (“deceit”; v. 2). As long as we deny the truth of who we are in our heart of hearts (“spirit”; v. 2), a guilty conscience will eventually take its toll on our body (vv. 3-4). But if we confess sin to the Lord we will find God’s grace to be perfectly matched to our need. After all, it is the Lord’s glory and delight to forgive “iniquity and transgression and sin” (see Ex. 34:6-7).”*
Romans 4:1-8 “What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.””
Galatians 3:8 “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations b blessed.””
Exodus 34:6-7 “The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and fourth generation.””
Tomorrow: Psalm 33
*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Psalm section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.
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