King David probably wrote Psalm 32 after Psalm 51 where he confessed his sin with Bathsheba. It’s a song of forgiveness. It encourages us to confess our sins to God (not a priest!) to experience being blessed and forgiven. Let’s dig in…
A psalm, maskil, or contemplation of David.
1 Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight!
2 Yes, what joy for those
whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt (sin),
whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
3 When I refused to confess my sin,
my body wasted away,
and I groaned all day long.
4 Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Interlude (pause and reflect)
5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Interlude
6 Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,
that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
7 For you are my hiding place;
you protect me from trouble.
You surround me with songs of victory. Interlude (Selah)
8 The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.
9 Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
10 Many sorrows come to the wicked,Psalm 32 NLT
but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.
11 So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!
Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!
Point by Point
In the first place, in verses 1 and 2, David states the truth. We feel joyful, and cleared of guilt and sin when we are truthful with God. See, God records everything in His heavenly ledgers. Though we may forget some of our sins, He doesn’t. He keeps a record of EVERYTHING we do! We have pure joy when, after confessing our sins, our record is wiped clean by Jesus’ blood shed on the cross.
Subsequently, if we refuse to confess our sins, our bodies waste away and we live in misery. We feel God’s hand of discipline heavy on our hearts. We lose our strength and will to carry on. As David states in verses 3 and 4…
When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Selah (Interlude)Psalm 32:3-4 NLT
Notice he put a “Selah” or Interlude right after those verses. He wants the reader or hearer to pause and think about what they just read or heard. Do that now.
After Reflection, Confess
Finally, he confessed all his sins to God and he stopped trying to hide his guilt. Seriously, like you can hide anything from the all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present God? He confessed his rebellion. Consequently, he was forgiven. All his guilt was gone. What a relief!
Next, he has a “therefore”. In other words, if God forgave him when he confessed and he felt so much better afterward, we can feel the same way! In verse 6, he seems to refer to the Great Flood of judgment. Incidentally, God promised He’d never destroy the world with a flood ever again, but if you read ahead to the Tribulation and the Final Judgement, it’s fire that sinners will encounter if they are not forgiven.
Moreover, He is our hiding place, our protector, our guide along the best pathways for our lives. He will advise and watch over us!
I love verse 9…
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.Psalms 32:9 NLT
Obviously, he’s talking about religion. Thinking back on my childhood in the Catholic Church, all those religious rituals were like we were senseless mules controlled by a bit and bridle. Stand, sit, kneel, repeat, repeat, repeat. It made no sense! It was all for nothing!
In conclusion, David states that “many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.” (v.10) We must trust God, not Mary, not a church, and certainly not a human pope or priest. We are to rejoice in the Lord and be glad because we obey HIM. We should sing and shout for joy because our hearts are pure! That purification, that sanctification comes ONLY THROUGH JESUS!
The folks at Spoken Gospel wrap it all up…
It’s often difficult to name what we’ve done wrong. Confessing our sins, especially to the people we’ve hurt, puts us in an extremely vulnerable position. We’re admitting our responsibility for their pain—and giving the people we’ve wronged the right to cut us out of their lives, punish us, or forgive us. That vulnerability and uncertainty can be powerful enough to prevent us from ever admitting we’re wrong or that we’ve sinned. But bottling up our transgressions comes with its own cost—a crushing sense of guilt, or at the very least, a lot of mental energy trying to forget or justify them.
But like the psalm promises, there is no uncertainty in how God will respond to you. He is willing to forgive and lift away your heavy guilt. We’re told by the Apostle John that when we confess our sins Jesus is faithful to forgive and take away any lingering sense of guilt or dirtiness (1 John 1:9). The author of Hebrews even describes Jesus’ cross as the way he “bore” or lifted away the heavy burden of our guilt and sin (Hebrews 9:28).
Confession makes us vulnerable and can feel like death. But it was precisely when Jesus became vulnerable unto death that our forgiveness and life were secured.
In Jesus, there is no reason to be reluctant about the dark parts of our hearts coming into his light (John 3:21). Jesus’ cross isn’t just good news, it’s our joyful song of his unfailing love and deliverance from our sin and guilt.
See For Yourself
May the Holy Spirit open your eyes to see the God who forgives our sins. And may you see Jesus’ cross as God’s song that proves there is no length he won’t go to lift away your guilt and forgive you of your sin.Spoken Gospel
How to Pray Psalm 32
These here are my words, but take a piece of paper and write down your own personal prayer to Jesus for forgiveness.
Oh, what joy I feel knowing my sins are forgiven! That they are forgotten and I am free of guilt! I am blessed to live in complete honesty! I was lost and miserable, wasting away. Your hand of discipline and guilt was heavy on my heart. Once, I confessed everything to you, you lifted that guilt and shame off me and I was free — forgiven!
I pray for all those who are still in bondage to sin, guilt, and religious rituals — may they open their hearts to You and confess their sins and ask You for the forgiveness that you freely give. They will then be saved from judgment.
May they know You as their Savior, Protector, Redeemer, Guide, and Provider, surrounded by songs of victory. May they be free from the slavery of religion and feel Your unfailing love surrounding them. I shout for joy and am glad as I obey You and keep my heart pure.Paraphrase of Psalm 32 by Giselle Aguiar
Lastly, let’s review what Jesus said in the Gospel of John…
17 “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”John 3:17-21 NLT
John also wrote…
6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.1 John 1:6-8 NLT
Are YOU Living in the Light?
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, feel His Shalom — a peace that surpasses all understanding, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180-degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him. When you ask Jesus to forgive you He will. ALL your sins will be wiped clean — past, present, and future! And All means ALL!
- Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the gift of Holy Spirit in your heart.