July 21


Find Joy in Forgiveness


Psalms 32; 51


            KEY VERSE: Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.

n      Psalm 32:1


My research for this lesson led to the discovery that Psalm 32 was Saint Augustine’s favorite Psalm. The famous early church father even had the Psalm inscribed on the wall beside his bed while he was dying. What a blessing it must have been to him, and what a witness to his family and friends, to be reminded of God’s great willingness to forgive our sins!

I still remember the joy that leaped into my heart when I first read the words of our Key Verse for today’s lesson. I already loved the beatitudes of Jesus. Now here is one of the most precious of the beatitudes of David!

Verse two is just as wonderful: “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.” Beloved, this is Good News in the Old Testament! And it is news which millions of people who are struggling with guilt need to hear: that God is willing to forgive the sins of those who are willing to confess their transgressions to Him!

Do I need to remind you that in these two Psalms we have a profound summary of the Good News of the Gospel? As disciples of Jesus we simply have to add “Jesus” to the word “Lord” and we’ve got the Gospel. Look at in these verses:

“Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord Jesus’ unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him” (Psalm 32:10).

“O Lord Jesus, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise” (Psalm 51:15).

Actually Christians cannot read the Old Testament without finding Jesus on every page! So we need not read it as though it were of lesser importance than the New; from Genesis to Revelation God is proclaiming his eternal gospel.

The Old Testament keeps telling us that Someone is coming. The New Testament tells us that One promised has come and his name is Jesus. The entire Bible is precious to believers. Perhaps that is why in our confirmation ritual we expect each candidate to “receive and profess the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.”

 Both Psalm 32 and 51 are favorite’s of mine! More than once I have to come before God as David did, crying “Have mercy on me, O God….Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”

Let us with urgency tell the world that we have a Savior who is able to create in us “a pure heart… and renew a steadfast spirit within” us, and thus “restore” the joy of our salvation! Glory!