Monday, October 7, 2013

...A Commentary on Psalm 32:3-5

“The Drought of Summer Replaced With Torrents Of Living Water”
Psalm 32:3-5
3. When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long.
4. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah
5. I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

Oh, the misery of denial in the heart of a child of God. David attempted to keep his sin from his friends and all of Israel for somewhere around 9 to 12 months, but he was miserable. The conscience of this “man after God’s own heart” was taking its toll on him. J. Vernon McGee suggests that David may have lost weight during this period. So overcome with guilt and the hand of God heavy on him, he couldn’t sleep, he couldn’t eat and he just groaned throughout the days. The NLT translates verse three as follows: “When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long.” The KJV says “roaring” instead of “groaning”. David was living a lie and was not right with God. He was silent in confession, but roaring throughout the day with the heavy burden and horror of his guilt. Psalm 38 further illustrates how David felt during 
this time. Like Psalm 32, it is one of the penitential (repentant) Psalms.

In verse four, David then says (NLT), “Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.” In First Corinthians 11:31-32 and in Hebrews 12:5-13, the Lord reminds us that He does chasten and correct His children, when the need arises. One reason He does this is that “we will not be condemned with the world.” In Hebrews, the writer tells us, “For whom the LORD loves He chastens.” He goes on, “But God’s discipline is always right and good for us because it means we will share in his holiness and afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Like a good father on earth, our Heavenly Father does not hesitate to teach us His way when we ourselves are obstinate and unchanging. If we are not corrected, we are not His. If we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged (1 Cor. 11:31).

The hand of the Lord was heavy upon David, and like a drought stricken land at the height of summer, his soul was dry. In First John 1:5-2:2, the beloved disciple says that “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But, if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”

Now, as we transition from verse four to verse five, we remember that this Psalm was set to music. At the end of verse four, we have the musical term “Selah”, which is a rest or pause in the song to contemplate what has been spoken and to wait on the Lord. Spurgeon speculates that moving from verse four to five may have also brought a change to a higher key in the song. With the forgiveness of his iniquity, David advances from the drought of summer to God’s grace poured out on him like the torrents of a monsoon.

In verse five, David says that he will confess his transgressions to the Lord and will acknowledge his sin to Him, that he will no longer attempt to hide it. The last part of verse five is the result: “and You forgave the iniquity of my sin” or, in the NLT, “and you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.” As soon as David confessed his sin, God forgave him. In the Hebrew, the language implies that God forgave him instantly. I believe the forgiveness came to David as soon as his heart was set on confession, even before the words got out, and as he was saying it, the love and mercy of God overflowed his drought stricken soul with torrents of living water.

Now, it is important to point out that admitting our sin to God is not the same as confession. Confessing is saying the same thing about our sin as God, seeing it the same way He does. Confession is a true repentance of the heart, and includes a turning away from our sin and giving it to the Lord. Confession softens the heart to receive God’s leading and guidance in our lives, which we will see in verse eight of this Psalm.

This portion of Scripture reminds me of the story of the prodigal son, recorded in Luke 15:11-32. It says that when the prodigal came to himself, he said, “I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

Our nature is such that it is always fighting against God’s Spirit within us. The flesh lusts against the spirit. So, daily renewal is essential in our walk with Jesus. Many times we fall short of taking hold of the invitation for renewal in His presence. But as soon as we are still and seeking Him, waves of mercy and love pour forth over us, and we are renewed in His love once again.

Bring me to the cross, Lord. Search my heart and show me where I am off. Renew my soul with your presence, the peace and joy that comes only from you. Thank you for the free gift of forgiveness and your love in Jesus Christ. Move me, lead me and guide me into your perfect plan for the life you’ve given me. In Jesus name, Amen

For the full commentary on Psalm 32, visit

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