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Psalm 32 (A Psalm of David, Maschil.)

1 BLESSED is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

Have you ever considered what a blessing it is to have forgiveness of God? What a blessing to have the LORD not hold our sins and iniquities against us? While most live their lives afraid of God and without true joy and happiness because of their sin and rebellion against God and His commandments, those who have God’s mercy and forgiveness have true peace and happiness. To be forgiven of the LORD removes all fear of wrath and condemnation and gives us peace with God. To have forgiveness for all our sins gives us the assurance of life everlasting. Indeed, the one who admits his sin to the LORD instead of attempting to hide and cover up his sins is blessed because in the LORD, for the sake of Jesus’ holy life and innocent sufferings and death, he has forgiveness of God. Cf. 1 John 1:5 – 2:2; Romans 4:1-8.

What about you? Do you have God’s forgiveness, or are you attempting to hide and cover up your sins? Are you justified by God, or trying to justify yourself? Are you self-deceived and attempting to fool others in regard to your sinfulness, or do you admit your utter sinfulness and look to God in faith for mercy and forgiveness?

3 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. 4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.

What happens when we keep silent about our sins? When we are unwilling to admit our sinfulness and look to the LORD for forgiveness? When we are unwilling to give up our sins? God’s hand is heavy upon us. We grow old and weary through our groaning and sighing all day long as we feel the guilt and weight of our sins. Our moisture, our vitality, our joy, is turned into the drought of summer; it is evaporated away.

5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

To confess our sins is to say and agree with what God says of us and our sin (cf. 1 John 1:9). Confession makes no excuses for sin, but acknowledges sin as sin and deserving of God’s eternal wrath and punishment! When we acknowledge our sin unto the LORD and quit attempting to hide it and cover it up, when we confess our transgressions of God’s commandments unto the LORD, He graciously forgives our sins for Jesus’ sake. “We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

6 For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.

For God’s forgiveness, everyone who is godly will pray now, before it’s too late! “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Don’t put off repentance! Don’t wait another day. Acknowledge and confess your sins now and receive God’s forgiveness. Tomorrow may be too late for you. You may never have the opportunity to receive God’s forgiveness again. If you turn to the LORD now, God will have mercy upon you and save you from the judgment to come! Cf. Psalm 86:5. As Noah and his family were spared in the floods of great waters (Genesis 6-8), so all who confess their sinfulness and trust in Christ will be spared in the final judgment of God on the last day.

7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.

When we turn to the LORD for forgiveness, He also will protect and preserve us from evil and trouble. Cf. Psalm 91. That doesn’t mean that we will have an easy life here in this world – quite the contrary. But He will preserve us and bring us safely through the difficulties and sufferings of this evil world to himself in heaven (cf. 2 Timothy 4:18).

8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. 9 Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.

God desires to instruct and lead His children in His ways. He does this through His Word, which is “a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). But, how often are we not like the horse or mule which must have a bit and bridle to get them to go in the right direction! How much easier it would be for us, and better too, to let God instruct and guide us through this life!

10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.

Just think about this word of God: “Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.” The wicked, the impenitent, will have many sorrows. Not only will this life be full of sorrow, not knowing the forgiveness and peace of God; the life to come will be one of eternal suffering and sorrow for the wicked! On the other hand, God’s mercy and forgiveness shall surround and encompass the one who trusts in the LORD!

11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

Indeed, those who have God’s forgiveness and pardon, those to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity and sin, have cause to be glad in the LORD and rejoice (cf. Romans 5:1-2). And, they can shout for joy; for they are blessed of the LORD God forevermore!

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“As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” Mark 1:2-3 (Read v. 1-8)

John the Baptist was not a Baptist, but he was sent to prepare the way of the Lord by calling upon all to repent of their sins and evil ways and to be baptized in the name of the one who was to come and who would make atonement for the sins of the world by bearing upon the cross the full punishment for the sins of all.

As the Bible tells us in v. 4, “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” And John pointed his hearers to the one who was coming after him but who was mightier and greater than John. He pointed people to Christ Jesus, “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

John was just a messenger to point people to Jesus, the Son of God and Savior of the world. John baptized with water; Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit.

As we expectantly await Jesus’ return, we would do well to heed John’s message and repent of our sinful ways, looking to Christ Jesus and His atoning sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of all our sins. Only through repentance and faith in Christ Jesus can we be ready and stand in His judgment! (Cf. Acts 3:19; 4:12).

And we continue the preparatory work of John the Baptist yet today, calling upon all to repent of their evil ways and to place their faith in Christ Jesus, who died for our sins and rose again and is coming in judgment to establish His everlasting kingdom. We call upon all to repent and be baptized in Jesus’ name (Acts 2:38-40; Luke 24:46-47; Mark 16:15-16). We baptize with water according to Jesus’ command (Matthew 28:19); Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-6; Titus 3:3-7).

Have mercy on us, O God, and wash away our sins in the shed blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that we might be ready for His return; and grant that we too would be a voice crying out in the wilderness calling others to repent and look to Jesus for eternal salvation. In His name, we pray. Amen.

Scripture is taken from the King James Version of the Bible

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“Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” Psalm 130:7-8

We await the Lord’s coming – His return in judgment – but if the LORD God were to keep track of all our sins and hold them against us – who could stand in God’s presence (Psalm 130:3; cf. Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23)? Of course, the obvious answer to this question is no one! As sinners who fail to love the LORD God or keep His commandments, we all deserve only the eternal wrath and punishment of God!

But the Psalm continues (v.4): “But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.”

God graciously forgives sins and pardons sinners for Jesus’ sake. What a wonderful truth this is! It is for this reason that we are directed to place our hope in the LORD.

The Psalm says: “Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities” (Psalm 130:7-8).

The people of Israel were directed to place their hope in the LORD for forgiveness and eternal salvation. They were not told to trust in themselves, or to try to appease God’s wrath by living a good life under the Law! Rather, they were directed to trust in the LORD God to have mercy on them and to forgive their sins! They were assured that with him is plenteous redemption. They were comforted by the truth that God is merciful, and that in Him is full and complete redemption from sin and its eternal consequences (cf. Psalm 86:5). They were comforted by the promise that “he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.”

This is none other than the promise of the Messiah and Savior who would come and die in their stead to redeem them. It is for the sake of this coming Savior that God called His people to repent of their sins and hope in Him and His mercy (cf. Isaiah 55:7).

It is for the sake of the promised Christ and the redemption He would accomplish that God assures all who trust in Him of complete forgiveness and life everlasting (cf. Psalm 103:8-12; Psalm 23:6; Psalm 16:11).

This ancient promise was fulfilled in our Lord Jesus Christ. As the angel said, He was named JESUS because He would “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Jesus has come and has died upon the cross for the sins of all. Our Lord Jesus Christ rose again from the dead on the third day in triumph, assuring us that in Him we have “plenteous redemption” (cf. Rom. 4:24ff.).

Our God calls upon us also to place our hope in Him. We cannot appease God’s wrath against our sins by our own lives or works; but “we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1,2). In Him “we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7). Let us also place our faith, our hope, in Jesus Christ who has redeemed us from all our iniquities!

Dear LORD God, we thank Thee for redeeming us from our sins and iniquities through the innocent sufferings and death of Jesus Christ in our stead. Grant that we place our hope and faith in Thee alone for eternal salvation. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Musical Setting of the Psalm

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