Psalm 32

Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity,

                and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

While I kept silence, my body 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.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity;

I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”

                and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you;

                at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.

You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble;

                you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.

I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;

                I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,

                whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,

                else it will not stay near you.

Many are the torments of the wicked,

                but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the LORD.

Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, O righteous,

                and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.


From Rev. Donald Snyder, Pastor

First Christian Church (Beckley)

Unlike many of the quite personal poems found in the Psalter, Psalm 32 does not provide the setting in which David uttered it. Nevertheless, three themes become apparent as the king’s words unfold. Sin is real. No matter how much humanity desires to ignore sin or overlook its power, David makes it quite clear that our transgressions are before us. Moreover, God is the only one who can remove this dividing barrier of sin, and the human components of this process are repentance and confession.

While we may not view suffering as the consequence (the fallacy Job’s three friends accepted), confession is more than merely informing God of one’s sin (He already knows our sins); it is also a turning away from these transgressions to God. This genuine transformation (a turning around to God) allows God’s unfailing providential care, as understood within the context of covenant-relationship, will surround the one who directs their way toward the divine will. The great example of Jesus is His willingness to submit to the Father’s will, whether at His baptism or in Gethsemane, as the means by which we are restored to what is lost by sin: life in the presence of God forever.


O God, may your transforming Spirit

bring me to a new turning toward your perfect will. Amen.