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Psalm 32 1
1 Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 2 Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. 3 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 sapped as in the heat of summer. 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. 6 Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him. 7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. 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. 10 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’S unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him. 11 Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!

clip_image049Background 2

A Psalm of David, Maschil. That David wrote this gloriously evangelic Psalm is proved not only by this heading, but by the words of the apostle Paul, in Ro 4:6-8. “Even as David also described the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.” Probably his deep repentance over his great sin was followed by such blissful peace, that he was led to pour out his spirit in the soft music of this choice song. In the order of history it seems to follow the fifty-first. Maschil is a new title to us, and indicates that this is an instructive or didactic Psalm. The experience of one believer affords rich instruction to others; it reveals the footsteps of the flock, and so comforts and directs the weak. Perhaps it was important in this case to prefix the word, that doubting saints might not imagine the Psalm to be the peculiar utterance of a singular individual, but might appropriate it to them as a lesson from the Spirit of God. David promised in the fifty-first Psalm to teach transgressors the Lord’s ways, and here he does it most effectually. Grotius thinks that this Psalm was meant to be sung on the annual day of the Jewish expiation, when a general confession of their sins was made.

Biblical Truths

David probably wrote Psalm 32 after he had slept with Bathsheba. She was the wife of Uriah. David sent Uriah to die in battle. The David married Bathsheba. For a while he did not ask God to forgive him. As a result he was very unhappy. Then he told God that he was sorry. God forgave him. David became happy again. Christians have a special word for being sorry for their sins. The word is repentance. There are 7 Repentance Psalms. The others are 6, 38 51,102, 130 and 143.

The opening declaration–the forgiven are blessed (Psalm 32:1-2)–arises from the psalmist’s own experience. At one time the psalmist was stubborn and closed, a victim of sin’s power (Psalm 32:3-4), and then became open to the forgiving God (Psalm 32:5-7). Sin here, as often in the Bible, is not only the personal act of rebellion against God but also the consequences of that act–frustration and waning of vitality. Having been rescued, the psalmist can teach others the joys of justice and the folly of sin (Psalm 32:8-11).

Items for Discussion

  • Verses 1 – 2: Here David used 3 different words to describe disobeying God. I have translated them: What is the difference in those words?
    • DISOBEDIENCE
    • SIN
    • DOING BAD THINGS
  • Why would a person with a sinful past be more effective in helping people deal with their current sins?
  • How does our society treat sin? Compare that to how the Psalm treats sin.
  • How does God forgive us? Why is this so difficult for us as humans to understand?
  • What warning is given concerning those who read this psalm?
  • What had been the effect of keeping silent about David’s sin?

 

II Corinthians 5:16-21
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Background

This second letter to the church at Corinth was by the Apostle Paul. It was written after he made a “painful” and unsuccessful visit to the young church in an attempt to give instruction and guidance on several divisive issues. Upon learning that a majority of members had repented, he wrote the letter of 2nd Corinthians. It gives encouragement, yet teaches of the suffering that each member must face for the Lord Jesus’ sake. He concludes by surmising that when he is weakest, then God is able to work through him most powerfully. This letter was, in all likelihood, written about six months after the first letter to the Corinthians.

Biblical Truths and Theology 3

Verse 19 – Namely – The sum of which is, God – The whole Godhead, but more eminently God the Father. Was in Christ, reconciling the world – Which was before at enmity with God. To himself – So taking away that enmity, which could no otherwise be removed than by the blood of the Son of God.

Verse 20 – Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ – we beseech you in Christ’s stead – Herein the apostle might appear to some “transported beyond himself.” In general he uses a more calm, sedate kind of exhortation, as in the beginning of the next chapter. What unparalleled condescension and divinely tender mercies are displayed in this verse! Did the judge ever beseech a condemned criminal to accept of pardon? Does the creditor ever beseech a ruined debtor to receive an acquittance in full? Yet our almighty Lord, and our eternal Judge, not only vouchsafes to offer these blessings, but invites us, entreats us, and, with the most tender importunity, solicits us, not to reject them.

Verse 21 – He made him a sin offering, who knew no sin – A commendation peculiar to Christ. For us – Who knew no righteousness, who were inwardly and outwardly nothing but sin; who must have been consumed by the divine justice, had not this atonement been made for our sins. That we might be made the righteousness of God through him – Might through him be invested with that righteousness, first imputed to us, then implanted in us, which is in every sense the righteousness of God.

Items for Discussion

  • What are the risks of viewing Christ in a Worldly way as Paul describes in his letter?
  • What is our role as ambassadors for Christ?
  • If we are all, by nature, sinful, then how should others view the Christian ambassadors?
  • What is an ambassador?
  • What is being righteous all about?
    • Characterized by or proceeding from accepted standards of morality or justice.
  • Why would Paul ask the church in Corinth, a place filled with issues, to become ambassadors for Christ?

Discussion Challenge

  • What programs at our church are the most likely to fulfill Paul’s mandate to become ambassadors? Do we have enough people to fill those roles?

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
  2. C.H. Surgeon
  3. Wesley’s Notes
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