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Sunday, May 30, 2021

“Blessed” Psalm 32 [Matt's Messages]

“Blessed”
Graduation Sunday
Lanse Evangelical Free Church
May 30, 2021 :: Psalm 32

I hope you followed along with Owen in your Bible or in the inside back of your worship guide. If so, please keep your Bible open and your finger on the text. If not, then turn in or turn on your Bible to Psalm 32. A psalm of David. A “maskil” of David which probably means a “teaching psalm.” Psalm 32 which is full of fortifying truth.

Psalm 32 is a joyful song about a great blessing. It has some sad stuff in it, some heavy, weighty, serious stuff. But it kicks off on a super joyful note and then ends in the same exultant tone. Woo!

Psalm 32 starts with the word “blessed.”

What a great word! We heard that word again and again last week in Psalm 135.  To be blessed means to be happy, to be joyful, to be enriched, to be thriving, to be flourishing. To be blessed means to be in state to be congratulated. To really be living.

To be “blessed” mean to have something worth celebrating in your life. It’s a blessing, for example, to graduate from a school. Congratulations.

#Blessed!

When we studied the beatitudes a few years ago, we said that it could be translated “Good on you!” “So happy for you!” “Good for you!” “Way to be!”

The CSB, which is the translation we just gave to the graduates, translates it in verse 1 and verse 2, “How joyful!”

And what’s interesting is what David is celebrating as such a blessing.

Who is truly blessed?
Who is truly happy?

This psalm is not about the blessings of having money or having stuff. It’s not about being blessed with a brand new car or motorcycle or truck.

This psalm is not about the blessings of freedom. Freedom is a blessing, and we are thankful today for so many freedoms we enjoy in this nation that came at the cost of so many sacrifices.

But that’s not the blessing that David wrote this song about.

This psalm is not even about the blessings of family or other loving relationships between people as wonderful as those blessings are, as well.

No, this psalm is about how blessed it is to be forgiven.

Psalm 32, verses 1&2 again.
“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.”


Psalm 32 is a joyful song about a great blessing. It’s a very happy song.

Because it’s a song about a man who has personally experienced the blessing of forgiveness.

I have three points to summarize Psalm 32 for you this morning, and this is the first one:

#1. BLESSED TO BE COVERED.

David says that God’s people are blessed to be covered by God’s forgiveness.

Look more closely at verse 1. David actually uses 3 different Hebrew words for “sin” in the first 2 verses and accordingly 3 different ways of describing the blessing of forgiveness. V.1

“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven [and the Hebrew word there emphasizes the idea of transgressions being “lifted away” from the sinner, borne away, to be seen no more, then...], whose sins are covered [different word for sin, different word to describe forgiveness. Here the idea is that his sin is seen no longer because it is covered over by something that hides it permanently from view. It’s also like we say when a debt is paid, “It’s covered.” The debt of sin is paid for and gone to be seen no more. V.2]. Blessed is the man whose sin [yet another Hebrew word] the LORD does not count against him [it is no longer reckoned to his account] ...”

No matter how you conceive of your sin, this forgiveness is total. It is not coming back on you, no way no how.

Forgiven, covered, not counted against you, not on your permanent record.

Isn’t that a blessing?!

Isn’t it wonderful that this kind of blessing exists?!
We live in an unforgiving world. Humans can be so bitter and relentless and demanding and exacting in our justice. Our pound of flesh. One strike and you are out.

And we might assume that God is the same way because we know that God is holy and we know that God knows how unholy we are! How sinful and rebellious we are.

Our sin is not small! But God’s grace is greater still.

And so, how joyful we can be if we know that we are forgiven in this way.  That our sin would be forgiven, that our sin would covered.

“Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.”

David knows this because David was, at one time, not that man.

At one time, David had tried to cover up his own sin. And that never goes well. Look at verse 3.

“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 sapped as in the heat of summer. Selah”

“Selah” probably means “Stop right there and think about that for a while.”

Many Bible scholars believe that David is singing about that time when he had sinned against Bathsheba and her husband Uriah and then tried to cover it up and pretend like it had not happened.  [See also Psalm 51 that we studied earlier this year.] And he went a whole year like that.

And it was miserable.

“When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.”

He might have looked good on the outside, but he was miserable on the inside. And it came out in his health wasting away under God’s discipline.

“For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.”

I wish we had a little more of the heat of summer today. 

But I’m glad I don’t feel like David did wilting under the weight of unconfessed sin.

He was miserable.

Are you miserable right now? Are you holding onto some secret unconfessed sin?

The Lord knows. It’s no good trying to hide it from Him. “Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).

Your pretending that you’re innocent is not fooling Him for one second.

And it can be forgiven!

It can feel so scary to admit your sin before a holy God, but He’s not just holy, He’s gracious. That’s what David found! Verse 5.

“Then I acknowledged my sin to you 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”

How joyful!

Just think about that. “Selah.” Just think about that!

All David had to do was own it and confess it and not cover up his sin, and then God covered up His sin!

How awesome is that?!

How joyful!
How happy!
How blessed!

As Christians we don’t celebrate being perfect sinless people.

We don’t even celebrate being good people.

If you think you’re basically a good person, you don’t really understand Christianity.

We believe that we are bad people.

We believe that all people are bad!

But we also believe that bad people can be forgiven.

And we know that’s because of the Cross of Jesus Christ.

We aren’t just covered. We are covered by the blood.

Unless you have not been covered yet.

The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, [God in Christ] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Have you done that?

For the first time? Confessed your sin, uncovered your sin before God and received the covering of your sin by blood of Jesus?

If you have not, I invite you to do so today.

Uncover your sin before God and have God cover your sin through the blood of Christ.

In verse 6, David prays that people would repent and seek God in that way. Because He is the only safe place in the universe. Look at verse 6.

“Therefore [because God forgives in this way] let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him.”

Those are sobering words “while you may be found,” because it’s clear that there is coming a time when God’s patience will end and He grace will not be found.

So David prays that while there is still time, everyone who wants to be godly will seek the Lord and put their trust in Him and hide themselves away in Him.

He uses the metaphor of rising waves, “mighty waters rising.” Remember the waters of the sea were a symbol of chaos and evil and trouble in the Hebrew mind.

But God’s throne is secure against the chaos of the mighty waters rising. 

David is saying if you repent and put your trust in the LORD, then the waters will not come over your head. You will be on high ground! 

You will be safe! Verse 7. He prays, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah”

Just stop and think about that!

How blessed is that?

That’s number two this morning.

#2. BLESSED TO BE SURROUNDED.

Blessed to be covered, our sins covered.

And blessed to be surrounded, our God is our hiding place.

He’s our fortress. He’s our safe place.

How blessed is that?

David used to be running from God, but now God is his hiding place.

David used to need protection from Gods wrath or at least God’s discipline. But now God protect Him from trouble!

David was miserable under the heavy hand of God. But now God surrounds Him with songs of deliverance. Salvation songs!

What a beautiful picture of blessing!

And who do you think is doing the singing in verse 7?

He’s surrounded by songs of deliverance.

David is singing verse 7, but he’s singing about other singing. Singing that surrounds him.

It very well could be God’s people, Israel, singing with and around him.

He can hear the songs of his church so to speak singing, “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day the long!”

But it also might be God doing the singing.

Think about that.
Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

God Himself singing songs celebrating His own grace at work in David’s life.

Brothers and sisters, the Bible says when you were first saved, there was much rejoicing before the angels. I think that’s God rejoicing.

Can you imagine God singing over you right now?

#Blessed!

Surrounded. 

He’s got you surrounded by blessing.

If you are trusting Him.

Blessed to be covered.
Blessed to be surrounded.
Blessed to be guided.

#3. BLESSED TO BE GUIDED.

Here’s another reason why I think the singer being referred to in verse 7 might be God Himself–because in verse 8, God is the singer. God sings over David in verse 8.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.”

David records a prophetic word directly from God in his song. God promises to guide David.

He isn’t just forgiven. He isn’t just protected. He’s given instruction and counsel and watch-care.

Isn’t that wonderful?

God also warns David to receive this guidance with submission. Verse 9.

“Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.”

God knows that David can be stubborn.

He says don’t be like a obstinate beast of burden that has to be coerced and doesn’t listen and doesn’t receive counsel.

Does this remind you of anybody you know?

It should you remind you of you.

Long before Matt Cox and Miracle Mountain Ranch, God was using horses to teach good theology.

Don’t be stubborn! Yield! Receive. Humble yourself.

And God Himself will guide you.

What a blessing that is! V.10

“Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD's unfailing love [hesed] surrounds the man who trusts in him.”

What has God been trying to get through your thick skull recently?

I’ll bet you know.

What has God been trying to guide you into, but you’ve been insisting on not listening?

“Do not be like the horse or the mule...”

Instead, rejoice. Rejoice and be glad because you are so blessed. V.11

“Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!”

Because we have every reason to rejoice.


No matter what?
No matter COVID.
No matter restrictions.
No matter distancing.
No matter masks.
No matter jobs.
No matter cancer.
No matter relationships.
No matter finances.
No matter politics.
No matter death.

No matter what.


Because we are blessed!

We are blessed to be covered. Our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus.

We are blessed to be surrounded. Our God is our hiding place and sings over us songs of deliverance.

We are blessed to be guided. If we will humble ourselves and receive it. “The LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trust in him.”

We are so blessed. We must rejoice.

“Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!”


***

Fortifying Truth - Psalms - Fall 2020 / Winter 2021 / Spring 2021

01. Majestic and Mindful - Psalm 8
02. All Our Days - Psalm 90
03. "The LORD on High Is Mighty!" - Psalm 93
04. "The LORD Is My Shepherd" - Psalm 23
05. "Praise the LORD, O My Soul!" - Psalm 103
06. "The Blessing of Aaron's Oily Beard" - Psalm 133
07. "A Dying Thirst for the Living God" - Psalm 42
08. "Our Fortress" - Psalm 46
09. Unrestless - Psalm 131
10. "Sun and Shield" - Psalm 84
11. "With Songs of Joy" - Psalm 126
12. "His Love Endures Forever" - Psalm 136
13. "How Many Are Your Works, O LORD!" - Psalm 104
14. "My Soul Waits for the Lord" - Psalm 130
15. "Remember David" - Psalm 132
16. "My Son" - Psalm 2
17. "Search Me" - Psalm 139
18. "Cleanse Me" - Psalm 51
19. "A New Song" - Psalm 96
20. "Hear My Prayer, O LORD." - Psalm 86
21. "May All the Peoples Praise You" - Psalm 67
22. "A Wedding Song" - Psalm 45
23. "My Feet Had Almost Slipped" - Psalm 73
24. “Rejoicing Comes in the Morning" - Psalm 30
25. 'The Waters Have Come Up To My Neck" - Psalm 69
26. "Cast Your Cares on the LORD" - Psalm 55
27. "“My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?" - Psalm 22
28. "You Will Not Abandon Me To the Grave" - Psalm 16
29. "He Will Rule" - Psalm 72
30. "Taste and See That the LORD is Good" - Psalm 34
31. "Since My Youth" - Psalm 71
32. "Your Statutes Are Wonderful" - Psalm 119
33. "The LORD Our God Is Holy" - Psalm 99

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