“Blessed is the One Whose Transgression is Forgiven”
1. “A Psalm of David. A Maschil.
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered.
2. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit.”
Psalm 32 is a Psalm of thanksgiving. It is a “Mashcil,” which means to give instruction or to understand; a contemplation. The Hebrew word translated “blessed” could be translated “Oh, how blissfully happy!” Spurgeon noted that this blissful peace came after David’s confession of sin, recorded in Psalm 51. For the full context of Psalm 32, read 2 Samuel 11 & 12 and Psalm 51 first.
In Psalm 32:1-2, three Hebrew nouns are used to denote sin and three verbs are used to describe God’s way of dealing with it.
“Blessed is he whose transgression…” Transgression is rebellion, a willful and knowledgeable crossing of the line.
But the “transgression is forgiven”, that is, lifted up and carried away like a burden.
“Whose sin…” Sin is failure to keep God’s law. The Greek word translated sin in the New Testament means to miss the mark.
But the “sin is covered,” that is, blotted out from the sight of the divine Judge.
“Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute”… Impute is an accounting term. The Lord is no longer accounting this debt to the sinner’s account, it has been canceled. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).” So, God is no longer accounting our sin against us, it has been laid on Christ, and in Christ we have become the righteousness of God, as His righteousness has been imputed to us!
“Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity.” Iniquity is a crookedness or deviation from the right path, a twisting and a going astray.
“Blessed is the man in whose spirit there is no deceit” is speaking of self deceit. There is no self deceit because he has faced up to his sin (cf. v 5).
Christ’s atonement is the propitiation, the covering, the making an end of sin. It’s interesting that the Hebrew word for cover is sometimes used for concealing. Sin cannot be covered by God until man uncovers it. This is a bit of a play on words. The man who does not attempt to conceal his sin, but confesses to God that he is a sinner, finds that it is covered by God through faith in Christ’s atoning death. David is here expressing the happiness of the person whose sins have been confessed to God and forgiven by His great mercy. “Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him (Psalm 32:10).”
Paul quotes Psalm 32:1-2 in Romans 4:5-8. In Romans 4, Paul gives Abraham, and then David, as examples of those forgiven by God before and after the law was given. Paul used these scriptures as evidence that one is forgiven by God through faith, and not by works. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).”
Paul finishes Romans chapter 4 with this, speaking of Abraham, “And therefore ‘it (Abraham’s faith) was accounted to him for righteousness.’ Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification (Romans 4:22-25).”
It is so important for us, as Christians, to keep this doctrine close to our hearts at all times, for the rest of our lives. To walk, day in and day out, in the light of the grace of our God, our Heavenly Father. This is the Good News of God’s grace for a dying world, and it is our joy, our hope and our strength until the Lord calls us home. Oh, how blissfully happy that person is, who has had their sin removed, and who now has the righteousness of Christ imputed to them through faith, because of what our Creator has done for us and His lovingkindness that endures forever!
For the full commentary on Psalm 32, visit http://walkingwithjesus.net/vbv.html