Sin is Serious (Psalm 32)


A Maskil of David. 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. 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 Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him. You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
(Psalm 32:1-11)


Let’s examine some of the words used here at the beginning of the Psalm today. Transgression is to trespass. It is a willful volition and stepping over a line into another territory. The largeness of the trespass is depends on who’s territory you have stepped into. If I cross my neighbors boundary, it isn’t as big of a deal as it is to unlawfully cross into a Military base boundary! Our problem is that we often think of sin as small… when in fact it is big, because of who we have trespassed. This is why David could say it was against the Lord that He sinned. He sinned and hurt Uriah and Bathsheba, but his real trespass was against the LORD.

FORGIVEN means to carry away. This is the same word that is used for a scapegoat. The scapegoat is one of two kid goats. As a pair, one goat was sacrificed (not a scapegoat) and the living “scapegoat” was released into the wilderness never to be seen again, taking with it all sins and impurities. This is what it means to be forgiven. A substitute has paid for your sins and carried them off.  

SIN means to “Miss the Mark.” Imagine you are playing basketball. It’s a big game. You dribble the ball down the court, you are wide open for a three pointer so you pull up and take a shot. The ball arks high into the air but completely misses the goal, the rim, the backboard, everything… the next thing you know you hear the crowd taunting you, “Air ball! Air ball! Air ball.” Now imagine that every trip down the court, every moment of your offense, you take your stance, take aim, and fail with every attempt to make a shot… not only do you not score any points, but your stats are zero across the board.

COVERED means to conceal. This is taken from the Day Of Atonement. Once a year the high priest would take the blood of a sacrifice into the Most Holy Place and sprinkle it on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant. The Mercy Seat was the lid covering the Ark and the blood was sprinkled there because it came between the presence of God (symbolized as dwelling the the space between  the wings of the cherubim above the ark) and the broken law of God that was in the ark itself. 

Iniquity means that you are warped. It is to take something good and to twist it. It is to pervert something. I was replacing the ball joints on my old Explorer a few years ago. When I was taking the bottom joint out I decided to replace the whole A arm assembly. I undid the bolts but the arm didn’t want to fall out. So I beat the old A-arm out with a hammer… I didn’t think about how I would put the new A-arm back in. When it came time, sure enough it didn’t fit because the frame was bent. Sometime in the history of this vehicle the owner had wrecked the car so bad that it bent this part of the frame… I finally fit the new arm in, but it wouldn’t matter, the frame was warped… the car would almost always be out of alignment.

DOES NOT IMPUTE means that the Lord does not take into account. I used to like watching the old westerns. Sometimes you would see someone come into a shop and buy something but instead of paying they would say… “put it on my tab” and the shop owner would write down how much they owed on that ledger. He would impute it to their account. Imagine that the shop keeper chooses not to impute it to their account, they wouldn’t have to pay. The items would be free to them, but would still cost the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper would pay for the items in both loss of original cost and loss of revenue. By choosing not to impute our sins, Jesus chose to pay for our sins!

Deceit is the final word for sin here. This is where sin does it’s most awful damage. The biggest lies are the ones we tell ourselves. We often deceive ourselves and say that our sin isn’t as bad as it really is. Before you can find forgiveness, you have to come clean. There was a time when David did lie to himself, where he did try to hide or cover over his sin on his own. He thought he could go on like nothing ever happened, but that wasn’t the case. 


Father, Thank you that you are a forgiving God who has mercy on repentant sinners. I thank you for the work of Jesus Christ on the cross who died for my sins and rose again that I might have repentance and receive new life in you. Thank you that even when I didn’t know the full depth of my sin and depravity that you loved me and that Jesus died for me. Thank you seems like too small a word for all you have done in my life regarding sin. I am so grateful for your salvation. Please watch over me and keep me from falling into temptation. I love you LORD. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

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