Study from God’s Word… Psalms reflecting many emotions and the complexity of human emotions – Today Psalms 4, 12, 20, 25, 32, and 38 … Passage for Reflection: Psalm 32: 5 … NIV 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to You [my Lord] and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD " — and You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
My Journal for Today: Today, Dr. Smith, my devotional “shepherd” launches into a study of 16 Psalms in the next few days which express a variety of human emotions; and today the highlight verse is from Psalm 32 where David is reflecting on what it was like ridding himself from the guilt of his confession after the cover up of his sins involving Bathsheba and his involvement in the death of her husband, Uriah. And yes, this song was actually written after Psalm 51 which, of course, is the song of confession where David unburdened himself of those sins before God and all of God’s people with that great Psalm of confession.
Dr. Smith is right on target again today as he discusses how the U.S. criminal justice system actually works to impede individuals from unloading their sinfulness and confessing their wrongdoings. And Dr. Smith is most certainly right that we humans have a deep-seeded need, a hole in our souls, to confess when we know, from the prevenient grace of God, that we have sinned against Him and done anything which breeches His Law. Our criminal lawyers often will do all they can to keep us from confessing until they can ploy their craft and try to get their clients off – no matter how guilty they are.
The truth is that unless we, as guilty sinners, can confess our sinfulness before God (see 1st John 1: 9 - linked) and before man (see James 5: 16 - also linked), we will never be able to express the emotions David is expressing in Psalm 32, … the joy of God’s cleansing grace and the remission of sin from the Blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.
Dr. Smith, at the end of his devotional for today, asks a heavy question for any of his readers. He asks, ”What debilitating guilt is silently eating away at me because I have yet to TRULY confess my sin?” You have to answer that one for yourself; but I can recall, as David is recalling in Psalm 32, a time when, after 22 years of living a double life of hidden sexual sin, I confessed all to my wife, from whom I had hidden my sinfulness. Oh, it took a lot of time – actually years – before we got to the place of healing expressed by David in Psalm 32; but that healing did take place; and now I know – and practice – the truth of 1st John 1: 9, confessing my sin – as much as my consciousness allows – and keeping short accounts before God for my sinfulness.
One can only live an emotionally unburdened life to the extent that God, the Grace-Giver, can pour out His healing and cleansing love. And that cannot happen when pride keeps one from confessing sin to God. Go back and meditate on Psalm 51, first, and then on Psalm 32. Then take some time to ruminate upon the truths expressed in 1st John 1: 9 and James 5: 16; and when you do that, I’m convinced you’ll see the need, drawn by God’s grace, to free yourself from the burdens of guilt, confessing any sin you have to God first and then to at least one brother/sister in Christ. If and when you do that, led by God, you’ll feel – deeply feel – the cleansing power of God’s forgiveness to separate your sin as far as the east if from the west. And if you’re feeling any guilt now from covering up your sin, you know you need to do that.
My Prayer for Today: Oh, my Lord, God, how often have You cleansed me from my sin nature over the years; and for that truth I walk with You in the light of Your forgiveness rather than in the darkness of my sin. Amen