June 16 I Thursday
“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” —Psalm 32:1-2, ESV
What a beautiful opening of a psalm, penned by David, who starts with a high point. Psalm 32 taps into the deepest longing of man, the quest for happiness and blessing. The word “blessed” is the same word that Jesus uses in the Sermon on the Mount, which means “supremely blessed and happy.” It is not something we simply get, but something we are in the process of becoming, a state of being. For David, His blessedness is centered on the cleansing and forgiveness that he is experiencing before His God.
In the first verses of Psalm 32, David emphasizes the totality of forgiveness that he has. He is not pretending that his sins never happened, because he acknowledges them, but the greater reality is that the Lord has granted him a total pardon. David uses three words in Hebrew for “sin.” The first one is simply translated “sin” and speaks to “missing the mark.” The second one, “iniquities,” is a little more serious, like driving off the road into the ditch. The third one is “transgression” and that is like driving down the road the wrong way—an open rebellion towards God. While David speaks to all three in the first two verses of Psalm 32, he is emphasizing the pardon that he has received from God: his transgressions forgiven, his sins covered and his iniquities that the Lord does not count against him.
When we study the Old Testament Laws, what is interesting to note is that there is no animal sacrifice for intentional sin, nothing we could offer, no clear path to restitution or reconciliation. Why is this? Certainly, God must have known that there would be times when we would sin intentionally. Yet, God probably did this to reveal to His people the totality of their condition and the totality of His mercy. The reality is that we are completely dependent upon His grace for our need.
David tells us, “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long” (Psalm 32:3). David resisted God by remaining silent, trying to cover everything up for who knows how long. It was only upon David’s confession that he found not only total forgiveness, but also relief. We can assume that his strength returns, the groaning subsides and the heavy hand is removed.
At the end of Psalm 32:2, David adds an interesting statement: “Blessed is the one…in whose spirit is no deceit.” David experiences relief spiritually, psychologically and physically. He experiences the blessedness that he speaks of in the opening—supreme happiness, welling up within his soul.
Prayer: Lord God, what a blessing it is that You have forgiven my transgressions, covered my sins and no longer count my iniquities. Thank You, Lord.