Thirty-two (as in Psalm 32) for the happy, the blessed. Who wouldn’t be happy and blessed who is forgiven. Whose sins get plowed under, whose record is all cleaned up, whose soul is singing like a newborn, gurgling child.
Wonder how all this happens? this reconciliation? Sounds like a new identity, doesn’t it? Not only is the old junk buried, but the origin of it all, the internal engines of sin and arrogance and idolatry, are white-washed…a new spiritual birth.
Too bad it took so long. We grab with both hands, dig our fingernails in even, holding onto our trust in ourselves and other sorts of idols—and we don’t let go. There must be some way all of this can work, we imagine underneath our skin—this ego-buffoonery that trusts only in itself. But, cut-off from the real source, the LORD of the universe, slow decay sets in, and it advances the more tenacious we become. How did the Psalmist get out of such a spiral to death? Confession! Oh my, that’s all? What about fines and restitution, time in the penalty box, self-sacrifice, self-immolation, or wailing out in the public square? There must be some transaction here, some process, some tears and gnashing of teeth.
I confess, that’s what he says. I blast it all out, sincerely, whatever it is, all the gory crap. God forgives. Way too simple. I dump. He hauls it away. And more—He provides a safe place and gives me tools and instruction kits to keep me on the up and up. And still more—steadfast, firm, stable, rock solid love (the only kind of love He sends out), love that has no end. A deal or a gift, you decide.
You think this is just your little stuff, the two-bit lie, the flirting around in the back alley with the devil, the trivial little slander here and there, the morality. Yeah to all that, but they’re just symptoms of the big stuff—the lack of trust, the refusal to go for hope and love for this eternal God, in short, the idolatry that we set up against the One who can’t seem to go to sleep without trying once again for a confession from one of his arrogant little sheep.
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. 3 When I declared not my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah 5 I acknowledged my sin to thee, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”; then thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin. Selah 6 Therefore let every one who is godly offer prayer to thee; at a time of distress, in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him. 7 Thou art a hiding place for me, thou preservest me from trouble; thou dost encompass me with deliverance. 8 I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. 9 Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, else it will not keep with you. 10 Many are the pangs of the wicked; but steadfast love surrounds him who trusts in the LORD. 11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!