Going Upright in Heart with Sin
The sermon outline is available HERE.
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up[b] as by the heat of summer. Selah
5 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
6 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.
7 You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah
8 I will instruct you and teach you in 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,
or it will not stay near you.
10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.
11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
As summer comes on us, the heat of summer, we have a psalm. We’ve been focusing on psalms for a goodly while here, looking at when God is big, because that’s what the Psalms are about, when God is big and prominent in your life. And then he enters into your thinking and all the experiences you go through. The heat of summer is used in what we’ll look at this morning. Over the course of this week, you will probably have an opportunity to be in the heat and the humidity and to remember this psalm that way, because it is spoken about very clearly.
Let me get to this psalm by asking this question. What is the purpose of this short tune? I am going to use the privilege of my position to sing, some accuse me of using my position because I can’t get anybody to listen otherwise. I want you to know, I did sing a song to my dog, when he was young, and it was a intriguing response, he just looked at me and kept turning his head. Best attention I ever got. Well, I am going to share with you this song. And I want you to be thinking of what the purpose is as I do. Okay, so I’ve got to get into the right frame of mind for doing this…30 days has September, April, June and November. All the rest have 31 except for February. So what is the purpose of that little sing songy melody? It’s to remember how many days a month has, it’s 30 and 31, then there’s the one with 29 or 28, depending on the year. There’s another way for doing this you know, by using the knuckles on your hand. How many have sung that little song before? I have found it useful at points of need, when not having a calendar and trying to think what day is when due to how long the month is.
And this morning, we have what’s called a Maskil. And a maskil is like that little ditty that I just went through. It’s like it because it’s an instructive thing that has kind of a sing songy melody rhythm to it. And so we’re going to look at that this morning, the maskil, as it’s talked about in the scriptures. And it’s intended to be one that we use at a time of need. Just like, 30 days has September. The psalm we’re going to look at is Psalm 32. And I’m going to ask you to turn there with me. It’s a psalm that deals with sin. That’s what the psalm is about. And the maskil is used here because of its musical sing songy rhythm kind of nature. And also because of what it does. If you’re with me in Psalm 32, I would like you to look down at verse 8, because the very word maskil is used there. It says this, “I will instruct you”, that’s the word that’s used for the maskil, it’s used to instruct. So at the point of need, I can bring up this fact, like the 30 days has September, and use them.
Now as we talk about sin, I thought Matt’s prayer this morning was really appropriate, to help us on things that we encounter, sin. That’s what this is about. And look with me at verse 11, because the aim of this psalm is this, “Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” That is the outcome that God is aiming at with this psalm of instruction, that we bring up at times of need, to kind of review it and to use it. That’s the aim, that there’ll be a joy, a happiness generating outcome, to dealing with sin. And that happens when we go upright in heart with sin, going upright in heart. Rejoice, be glad, shout for joy be happy all you upright in heart. That’s where this psalm is aimed at. And this psalm is for you and your sin and passing along to others this instruction about dealing with sin. Say this with me: this psalm is for me. This psalm is for me. And for me to pass along. And for me to pass along. Okay, now altogether: this psalm is for me and for me to pass along. That’s the intent here. Because it talks to us about dealing with sin upright in heart.
Now, the nature of how this is presented, is it’s the testimony that David gives. The first part in this well structured psalm is dealing with sin. David provides his testimony here. And then the second part, are directions on dealing with sin. David gives teaching because David was definitely a participant in sin. And he’s able to give us instruction for dealing with sin. As a matter of fact, that is a well observed fact that Psalm 32 and Psalm 51 are very similar. As a matter of fact, those who observe this similarity say they are caused in David’s life for this same sinful event. So keep your finger here in Psalm 32 and go with me for a moment to Psalm 51, which is just a few pages back or scrolls back depending on what you’re using here.
Psalm 51 has what’s recorded in the Bible as the background for this psalm. It says this, “To the choirmaster. A psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.” That’s the sin. It’s recorded for us in 2 Samuel, chapters 11 and 12, the whole event that transpired there. It was a sin, a sin of adultery, a sin of fornication, a sin of fantasy that David brought in to reality. And it’s fully described. And David talks about this sin when Nathan came to him and confronted him on the sin. I don’t know about you, but I know from my experience, and I know from reading about Adam and Eve, that confronting about sin is something that is shied away from, attempts to be avoided. That’s what Adam and Eve did with God when they hid from him and he confronted them on their sin. Nathan comes to the king to talk to him about his sin, that was well known in the scuttlebutt of Israel, and what had happened here. David was deluding himself, and how he was handling this dealing with sin. It was a severe sin. It was a greatly consequential sin, in his own life, the life of his family, and indeed, the life of the nation. As a king, he was leading the nation as God’s appointed person in a theocracy, where God was to rule. And David responds to Nathan’s confrontation about his sin, in dealing with sin.
Here’s a couple things he says, Psalm 51:1-3, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me for I sin! ForI know my transgression, and my sin is ever before me.” This is his response. The Bible says when Nathan came to him, that was the immediate experience of addressing his sin. David seeks God in dealing with his sin. Now slide with me down to verse 12 -14 of Psalm 51. “Restore to me the joy of your salvation,” of your rescue, of your deliverance, “and uphold me with a willing spirit”, a desire to go along with you, restored to me the joy of your rescue. Hold me up here with a spirit that is willing. “Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God.” What David is doing is fulfilling what he expressed to God that he wanted to do, when the joy of his rescue was returned. He is instructing others. He is telling us about how to deal with sin. I will teach others, “I will teach transgressors your ways.” And the result will be that “sinners will return to you”. That’s what Psalm 32 is about. It’s about the same event. But David is fulfilling what he requested of God, to be able to do this, Psalm 32. And I want you to know that the outcome of dealing with sin this way is a joyful, celebrated, happiness generating outcome with sin. With sin? Yes, severe sin. That’s what David tells us here. Is that possible? Not only is it possible, it’s what God is after, for you and me. It’s what he wants in our dealing with sin. So, these two things: 1) dealing with sin, David’s testimony and 2) direction on dealing with sins, David’s teaching. We’re going to start here with David’s testimony.
Let me ask you this, have you had the experience of your life where you notice, this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be? I got a call from my daughter, she was going to school. And she says, the car’s not running right? It’s just not running, right. There’s something wrong. It’s not sounding right. And I go there and I look into it. You know how it goes, you got to pop the hood and scratch your head and look around and that kind of thing, sometimes not knowing what you’re supposed to be looking for. Well, I did that. And sure enough, it wasn’t running right. So I said, let’s limp it along and get it home. And on the way, I decided to stop at this auto supply store and I went in and talked to the guy behind the counter. And he asked, does that car sit outside? I said yes. By the way, it was in the fall when this happened. And he asked, do you have ground squirrels? And I said yes. And he said, Okay, let me go out with you. And we pop the hood. And he ran his finger along where these little wires connect to the spark plugs. And behold, there was one that was snapped off. And there was some other incriminating evidence, like the piece of a little black walnut like is in our black walnut tree and some chewed up nut residue laying there. And he said, there it is. And lo and behold, he went inside, got the part, put it together and it ran fine. When life isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. This car supposed to run right. And ground squirrels are not supposed to chew on the wires, and they’re not supposed to leave their residue. And this is not the way it’s supposed to be. But I want you to know, it was that way and it is this way, because of sin.
You ever get up in the morning and think, Whoa, something’s not right. Especially you look up and the room is spinning. You ever have mornings like that! Can I tell you, that is not the way it’s supposed to be. But it is that way, because of sin. Sometimes you walk into a room and you see the expression on somebody’s face and you say, What’s wrong? What’s the matter? What’s bothering you? And you don’t know why their face is that way. And they explain some relational issue or situation that came down. And I want you to know, it’s that way because of sin. Things aren’t the way they’re supposed to be in this life, in this world, and you will encounter it today and tomorrow. Things aren’t the way it’s supposed to be because of sin.
Dr. Stewart’s work is dealing with things that aren’t the way they’re supposed to be. Because of the sins effect on us, sometimes because of sinful choice on us. As a matter of fact, most of our work is dealing with stuff that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. As a manager, I found that to be so. You guys who work with computers, do you ever have your computer do something that’s not the way it’s supposed to be? It’s because of sin, this is the total engulfing our life that sin has done. As a matter of fact, I’ve got a book here, actually two books, on sin. I got a few others, but these two I particularly chose on sin. And the title of this book on sin is “Not The Way It’s Supposed To Be”. Because that’s what sin is. It’s not the way it’s supposed to be. And part of the reason why sin is the way it is, is because of the question in this book “Whatever Happened To Sin?”, because it’s not dealt with like it’s supposed to be. This is a classic book that’s been around for a long time and has made an impact in regards to dealing with sin, dealing with the way it’s not supposed to be.
That’s what Psalm 32 is about. It’s about doing that in a happiness generated way that has an outcome that is celebrated and brings joy to this world. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be. David’s testimony, what happened there was not the way it’s supposed to be. Uriah, who was a dedicated, committed soldier, to the army of Israel, to the God of Israel’s army, to the king of Israel’s army, in carrying out his military moves, had king who while Uriah was away in battle, usurped his wife and took her in adultery and immorality. And then attempts to cover up this sin by having Uriah killed on the battle front. So then David, as a gracious and benevolent king, takes this poor widow, who is now pregnant, into his personal provision. And I want you to know, that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. Amen. Amen. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. And David talks here as he begins to give instructions on how to handle sin, pointing out that there is this blessing of the Lord way to deal with sin.
Notice with me, verse one and two, “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity”, he doesn’t charge it against them, “and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” I want you to know that there are varieties of sin. And David speaks about these varieties, because they all entered into his expression of sin. He owned them in Psalm 51 immediately when Nathan came to him and spoke to him about this sin in a very wise way. And here he gives instruction, a remembered tune for a point of need, in sin. He speaks about these varieties of sin and they’re very important. There is transgression that he talks about and there is sin, just this straight up sin and there is iniquity. I’m going to go through these and kind of talk about each one transgression.
The transgression is when you break away, or you tear yourself away from what you know is God’s direction and his life. You tear yourself away from it. And you go ahead and you go over the line. Some people call themselves line pressers, I’m always pressing the line, I’m always going over the line. And that’s just the nature of me. What they’re saying is that they’re transgressors. If there’s a progression it means you’re going forward, and if there’s regression it means you’re going backwards, and to transgress means you’re going beyond, you’re tearing yourself away from God’s boundary, and you’re going beyond it. And that’s what David recognized. He went beyond what he knew God had in mind, he knew it. He knew it. I know my transgression, he says. And then there’s sin. Sin is where you fall short, you’ve just completely missed the mark. They had this picture of an ancient archer who would be firing an arrow towards the target, but the arrow would fall short. That also he says, sometimes we just fall short of what God has in mind. We don’t just go beyond it, it’s not that, it’s falling short. And the third term he uses here is iniquity. Iniquity means to be turned or to make it crooked, twist it. People handle their lives in their minds, and they’re twisted, so much so that they become twisted. It’s an inside twistedness. That’s what it is, all three terms. One is an action, one is a failure and the other is an inside twistedness: transgression is an action which you intentionally do, sin is a failure where you’re falling short and iniquity is the twistedness that is inside. All of these were present with David, all of them. That’s what he said in Psalm 51.
And then, the way of dealing with this is using God’s provision for each one of these. He says it like this, “Blessed”, happy, in an enviable state, “is the one whose transgression is forgiven”. This idea of forgiven is that the burden is lifted off and taken away. Because sin has a burden. It’s got a burden that is mental, it has a burden that is physical. There are mental consequences. There are physical consequences. And it comes from the burden which David’s going to talk to us about. That this is a God induced burden that comes on the believer in sin. It is a God procured and brought in place and applied burden under pressure that comes in sin. The transgression, the burden of it, is taken off, that’s what forgiveness is. The sin is the missing it. This happens in my construction work quite a bit. I just miss it. Okay, you’ll be putting up a drywall and you’ll be putting in the screws. And then lo and behold, you’ll find the screws are too high off the wall. So I go and get bigger floor casing. I put out a nice built up molding. You can go in my bathroom, I’ll show you a nice pretty build up to cover the falling short. That’s what God does with sin, with the failure, “whose sin is covered”. That’s a happy thing that God’s done. Oh, how blessed is the man, how happy, happiness is generated, whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered by God. This was done in a very elaborate way in the Old Testament with the blood sacrifices and the mercy seat and the sprinkling of the blood on the mercy seat to cover the sin. That’s what it said, to cover the sin. For us, in the New Testament, this blood is the blood of Jesus that covers our sin, pictured there in the Old Testament. It’s a happiness that’s generated by God, by the Lord.
Then look at how he says this, “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord does not impute”, that’s a bookkeeping term. When you are changing accounts, and you are charging this deduction to that account, that’s imputing. It’s that’s accounting for it, by charging it to someone’s account. You say that when you hand out your credit card or your debit card, charge it to my account, that’s imputed. “No iniquity”, this twistedness is not charged to your account by the Lord, by the Lord. That’s a happiness generated state that the Lord doesn’t do that, doesnt charge it to us.The burden of sin is lifted, it’s covered and it’s not charged to us. David talks here about this blessed of the Lord way to deal with sin.
Now, I need to say very quickly, that not everyone deals with their sin that way. David had to come to this, because he did not deal with his sin that way. Initially, he had to confront his sin, be confronted about it. And then this, there is this disregard and cover it up way. That’s the way David went. at first. Look with me at verse three. “For when I kept silent”, this is about his sin, when I kept silent about my sin, “my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me.” This is the Lord induced pressure, on the conscience, on the mind, on the physical body from sin. “My strength”, he says, “was dried up as by the heat of summer.” That’s the thing that will be good to remember this week. The heat of summer. You know, sometimes when we were working out on the farm, during this time of the year, it usually came time to bale hay, that make hay when the sun shines. That’s what you do and that’s usually the heat of summer. And you’d be out there and you’d be bucking the bales on the wagon if you were lucky. Because there you got the wind. Generally what would happen is you’d be up in the mound, where it was all closed in, no wind, the heat of summer, under a tin roof, and a continuous flow of bales up the elevator to carry and to put in place. And I want you to know that what would happen is you’d get to the place where you were pretty wrung out, and this is where the term comes from I’m sure. Your strength, the vitality, was kind of gone. And you know, then at lunch break, your mom would bring out grapefruit juice. But I want you to know, it was so sweet and satisfying. And a good lick of salt or two, during the midst of that. And grapefruit juice never tasted so wonderful. It’s that being wrung out experience, when you’re not baling hay, that David’s talking about inside of him.
I have a question here. Was David a believer when he did this sin with Bathsheba? Yes, he was. This was David, relative to Bethsheba, and his sin there. When he, thinking he was going to cover this up, told Joab, the general of his army, put Uriah, the husband, in a place where he’s surely going to be a casualty of war. And he figured out this whole concocted plan to cover up somebody knowing what he had done in secret, when it was already the scuttlebutt around the town. I mean, do you think the king can import a woman when he’s in the top of his palace and it not be known? And who the woman was, and how this took place? Why we even know years later, we know the details. But this is the way that sin is when you’re going to disregard it and covered up. David deluded himself into thinking he could cover this up. And you see that’s the nature of sin. It’s something that the Bible talks in the New Testament that’s done in darkness. It’s done in hidden, it’s done in secret to try to keep it covered. It’s kind of like when somebody walks into a room and you turn the page, you disregard, you move, you change the site on the computer. It’s done in secret to be covered up, with a thought it will be gotten away with. And instead of this blessed of the Lord way of dealing with sin, that is straight up without deceit in the heart, there is this just disregard, covered up explain it away that goeson. David was a believer. He was a believer then. Because he had these internal and external recognized convictions. tugs of conscience, pangs, sorrows for his sin. You see, that’s what happens to a believer. A believer has thoughts like: here I am again, what have I done, I gotta get out of this, Oh God, what have I done here? That’s what happens with the believer.
If it’s not a believer, flip over with me to Psalm 36. This is what happens. with an unbeliever. Look at verses 1-4, “Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart”. It speaks there, transgression going beyound what you know is the boundary that God has set and breaking away. Transgression speaks loudly, speaks deeply in the heart of the wicked. “There is no fear of God before his eyes.For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity”, his internal twistedness, “cannot be found out and hated.” That’s what he’s thinking. It’s not going to take place. That’s the wicked. “The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit. He has ceased to act wisely and do good. He plots trouble while on his bed, he sets himself in a way that is not good. He does not reject evil.” They live with it. That’s the way of the transgressor. That’s the way of the unbeliever. The believer has the pangs, the pangs of conscience, the pains that are felt in his body. Psalm 36 is unbelievers. That’s what the Bible says.
And then there is this. There is this in the blessed of the Lord way. There is this owning it, this I own it, and acknowledge it way. This is actually the heart of the psalm here, the heart of the instruction that David is giving. It’s the longest verse, it’s the verse that’s surrounded by the word Selah. Do you see that in your Bible? Selah, just before and just after verse five. It’s said at the time when sin is seen as being disregarded, it’s being attempted to be cover up, it’s being looking away from, it’s kind of like getting off the computer site really quick so it’s not seen. That is what comes just before this verse. Selah, which means you pause for a minute and think about this. And then there is the owning of it, the acknowledging of it. And what he has to say here causes us to stop, Selah, and think about this, think about this, and this is what he has to say. He says, verse 5, “I acknowledged my sin to you.” Notice that the three varieties of sin are mentioned here again. I acknowledge my falling short to you, missing the mark, “I did not cover my iniquity”, and you forgave, “I said, I will confess my transgression to the Lord, and you forgave the iniquity”, the inner twistedness, “of my sin”. I want you to see something here very, very clearly. As soon as the three varieties were owned and acknowledged before him, as soon as he saw, this is true of me, this is true. Immediately when he owns it, God forgives. He lifts the burden. Immediately! God forgave! “You forgave the iniquity of my sin.” Selah, pause to think. Stop and think about that. Remember how severe and impacting this action of David’s sin was? It was blood guiltiness, people had died because of this. People, plural, had died because of sin and the culpability, the responsibility of that was on David. It was blood guiltiness, Psalm 51. And the burden? Immediatly, God lifts it.
Now I want you to know that God has been good all the way through this. God was good in the disregarding of it, in bringing the pressure both mentally and physically, God was good. Because if David lived in that sin, it would have done him in. Because sin when it grows fully, kills you. It would have killed him, it would have killed him. As sure as day and night, it would have killed him. God was good to him in that. God was good to him in giving him time to sort this through, in sending him Nathan, who wisely approached the king. David could have looked at him when he brought this before the king and said, Nathan off with your head. And he would have got away with it because he’s king. God was good to David in that he lifted the burden immediately when he owned it, and acknowledged it. Were where consequences? Yes, there were consequences. But the burden was gone. Immediately. This is the God blessed way. This is the blessed of the Lord way to deal with sin. Your way, my way, sometimes isn’t the blessed of the Lord way. This is the blessed the Lord way.
And you know, when you look at this, I can’t help but think about the prodigal son. You remember the prodigal son, Luke chapter 15, the story of the prodigal son. Here is a son who wants to take his father’s wealth and he goes off to a foreign land and he wastes it on riotous living. That means he dissipate it, it was waste, he was wasting his life. And he basically was involved in what David was involved in. That’s what the bible tells in the story that Jesus gave to us. This is Jesus telling story. This was riotous living. And in the midst of that, when it was coming to the end, that he didn’t have any more of his father’s money, because he wasted it all, he comes to himself. And do you remember what he says? I’ve got a problem here. The servants for my father live a whole bunch better than this. Here I am in this pig pen, sucking up pig food. I’m going to go to my father. And he plans it out. Luke 15. I’m going to say to him, Father, I have sinned against you. As a matter of fact, let me read what he said because this is really good. He says this, “I will arise and go to my father and I will say to him, father, I have sinned against heaven and before. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants”. And he started heading back to where he was going. And as he was going, his father saw him at a distance. And his father goes out and he ran to him and he embraced him and kissed him. And the boy says this, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you and as he goes on, the father doesn’t even let him finish. He says, give him a ring, dress him up, clean him up, we’re gonna have a party, we’re gonna celebrate this. Because the one who is dead is now alive towards me. He is alive again. And I want you to know, it’s just that instantaneous because this is Jesus telling us the nature of our Father, God. That’s Jesus with our Father, God and our sin. This is fabulous. This is David’s testimony.
And now there’s some directions that he gives. The directions are pretty straightforward here. The directions are this. First, turn to the Lord, I AM-always and forever. Turn to Yahweh, the one who is the I AM-always and forever. Even in the midst of your sin, what you need to do is turn to I AM and find this. Notice with me verse six, “Therefore let everyone who is godly”, who has turned to him, who is God oriented, “offer prayer, communicate to you God at a time when you may be found, surely in the rush of great waters, the flood, they shall not reach to him.” This is turning in a time when God is available. You know, there’s not always going to be a time for God to be available for you to have sin removed. The Bible says today is the day, now is the acceptable time. Do it now! Do it now! Turn it now! Turn it now! And that needs to ring in our heart every time we find ourselves in that sinful state, where I’m ready to go over and I’ve gone over, turn it now. Turn it now because it’s available. Now turn it now, today is the day of rescue. Now grace is available. In 2 Corinthians 6:2, that’s what he says. There’s going to come a time when this is no longer available. People will refuse to trust God and His Christ and grace comes to an end. It’s not always going to be available. The cross won’t always be offered to have your sin forgiven. It’s not always going to be there, that you grip in, hang on only to Jesus. It’s not going to be. Turn, when there’s a time.
And the rush of God’s judgment, it won’t reach you because you’ll find this, verse seven, find a hiding place. “You are a hiding place for me. You preserve me from troubles, you surround me with joyful cries and songs of deliverance.” This hiding place in God is real. And it works. It’s real! And it works! Sometimes I get reproved because I’m a little too enthusiastic up here. Recently I was with a person and they said, you know if you could just tone it down. It’s really hard. And sometimes I really don’t think I need to tone it down. I need to tone it up. Because this is real! And this really works! But I will put on my counseling face. When I face this situation and there’s someone with an excuse not to turn, I usually can’t yell at them. So I calmly say, Well, I want you to know, there are consequences here. The rush of judgment that he talks about in verse six, this rush of judgment will reach you. It will reach you. You see, Proverbs 28:13….This is my counseling face….You see, Proverbs 28:13 is true. It says this. He who covers his sin, hides it, disregards it, are going to deal with it some other way, will not prosper. But he who confesses, agrees with God and forsakes it, will find mercy from the Lord. That’s what’s true. And it’s real. And it’s genuine and it’s with your sin.
And God’s intent is this, for you and for me and for us, to this pass on to others. That’s the intent. Trust in the Lord, David says, trust him. Notice, verse 8, “I will instruct you…in the way you should go.” This is the “should go” way, “I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” And David is not saying this is what he’s going to do. David is putting this out there as this is what God will do. This is what the Lord will do. He will instruct you, He will give you a maskil, something so that the sticks with you, and you can use it at a time of need, that you can go to this. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.” You see, it’s not that we have this blessedness of being forgiven so we stay in the sin. No, it’s so that we will trust the Lord and listen to his instruction and his counsel in the way we should go. He says, that’s the trust in the way he provides.
Go that way and avoid this. Avoid being a stubborn mule about it. That’s in essence what he says. He says avoid this, verse 9, “Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with a bit and bridle or it will not stay near you.” That’s an illustration. I would love to tell you an illustration of bringing a mule along or bringing a horse along and it takes a bit and a bridle. Or else they’re not going to cooperate. And avoid this, verse 10, “Many are the sorrows”, and pains and pangs and pressures and mental anguish and physical experiences of not going with him, of not experiencing his steadfast love surrounding you. He says, “Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.” Avoid this, trust Him. This thing about being stubborn. That’s what the Lord sees in not turning. It’s that stubborn, brute force of a non understanding creature.
So to wrap this up. There can be joyful, celebrated outcome in dealing with your sin, in passing this along. There can be joyful, celebrated outcome. That’s what David says, verse 11, “Be glad in the Lord and rejoice.” All the ones who are doing it right, choosing to do it right here. “O righteous ones, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” There can be celebrated outcome with joy and gladness in dealing with your sin. When we go this way, owning it, turning in, acknowledging, acknowledging it to God acknowledging it to others, bringing forth actions of going his way. There’s a lot there. Let me just end with this. It’s a true story. There was a man named Augustine, who was a Bible teacher, a brilliant Bible teacher and theologian, also a pastor, very, very effective pastor. Augustine lived years ago. And when Augustine came to his deathbed, and he knew it, he had them inscribed on the walls, like we have things inscribed on the walls around here. He intentionally had them inscribe Psalm 32, all of it, on the wall of this chamber. And he wanted them to do that, he said, so he could see it. Whenever he wanted to and see it and think about it. And Augustine said, You really get to know, when you know your own sinfulness, you really get to know about life in this world that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. When you realize you’re not a victim of this, you’re a contributor. You’re a contributor. I’m a contributor. You’re not a victim. And Augustine, on his deathbed, wanted to meditate on. I’m not a victim, I’m a contributor. And the Lord, oh, he is mighty to rescue you, to save you!
Father in heaven. We thank you that you are the Father of prodigal sons and daughters. Because we so need to learn from David, this little musical psalm and use it, in our need. You are mighty to save. In Jesus name, amen.