Saturday, April 16, 2011

Joyful Reconciliation

Psalm 32 1(A) Blessed is the one whose(B) transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2Blessed is the man against whom the LORD(C) counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit(D) there is no deceit. 3For when I kept silent, my(E) bones wasted away through my(F) groaning all day long. 4For day and night your(G) hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up[b] as by the heat of summer. Selah 5I(H) acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, "I(I) will confess my transgressions to the LORD," and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah 6Therefore let everyone who is(J) godly offer prayer to you at a time when you(K) may be found; surely in the rush of(L) great waters, they shall not reach him. 7You are a(M) hiding place for me; you preserve me from(N) trouble; you surround me with(O) shouts of deliverance. Selah 8I will(P) instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will(Q) counsel you with my eye upon you. 9(R) Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with(S) bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. 10(T) Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who(U) trusts in the LORD. 11(V) Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and(W) shout for joy, all you(X) upright in heart! Footnotes: a.Psalm 32:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term b.Psalm 32:4 Hebrew my vitality was changed Cross references: A.Psalm 32:1 : Cited Rom 4:7, 8; Psalm 85:2 B.Psalm 32:1 : Exodus 34:7; John 1:29 C.Psalm 32:2 : 2 Cor 5:19 D.Psalm 32:2 : John 1:47 E.Psalm 32:3 : Psalm 31:10 F.Psalm 32:3 : Psalm 22:1 G.Psalm 32:4 : 1 Sam 5:6, 11; Psalm 38:2 H.Psalm 32:5 : Psalm 51:3 I.Psalm 32:5 : Psalm 38:18; Job 33:27; Prov 28:13; Luke 15:18, 21; 1 John 1:9 J.Psalm 32:6 : Psalm 30:4 K.Psalm 32:6 : Psalm 69:13 L.Psalm 32:6 : Psalm 18:4, 16; 42:7; 69:1; 144:7; Job 22:11 M.Psalm 32:7 : Psalm 91:1; 119:114; Psalm 27:5; 31:20 N.Psalm 32:7 : Psalm 9:9 O.Psalm 32:7 : Psalm 18, title; Exodus 15:1-18; Judg 5:1-31 P.Psalm 32:8 : Psalm 25:8, 12 Q.Psalm 32:8 : Psalm 73:24 R.Psalm 32:9 : Prov 26:3; Job 35:11 S.Psalm 32:9 : James 3:3 T.Psalm 32:10 : Prov 13:21; Rom 2:9 U.Psalm 32:10 : Psalm 34:8; 84:12; Prov 16:20; Jer 17:7 V.Psalm 32:11 : Psalm 64:10; 68:3; 97:12; Psalm 33:1 W.Psalm 32:11 : Deut 32:43 X.Psalm 32:11 : Psalm 7:10 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I came across this passage this morning while reading and I couldn't help but find such joy in it and share it! I included the cross references as well in case you were wanting to explore into more detail about certain verses. I can totally relate to the Psalmist in verses 1-4 where he is trudging along with this heaviness of the Lord's hand upon him. Have you had to carry the dead weight of someone? Hopefully not like a body-bag-dead-weight, but you know, when you are just playing around and you collapse and someone has to drag you or you have to drag someone? It's horrible! It's so tough! That's what I feel like when I am convicted of something, like this huge person's dead weight has just collapsed upon my back. The Psalmist says, "For when I kept silence, my bones wasted away..." Not only does that conviction of the Holy Spirit weigh a ton, but your insides ache and groan for relief. What a wonderful thing, Amen? What a glorious thing to have the convictions of sin, because I believe it proves all the more of the work of the Lord in our lives! Reread verse 5. Ah! So great! Such a wonderful example of God's faithfulness in forgiving our sins---and this is in the Old Testament, before Christ--so here is somewhat of a glimpse of the grace-giving God that we serve providing forgiveness for one's iniquity. The Psalmist urges those of us who are godly, to offer prayer in time that God is near. Now God is present both in times of living obediently and times of disobedience, but this verse urges us to offer prayer in that moment to reconcile our hearts to God. I used the cross-reference on this verse in Psalm 69:13 which states: "But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness." Offering that prayer of reconciliation with God is so important! We should praise the Lord for his abundance of steadfast love and his saving faithfulness! What a wonderful Father. I love the description of God when the Psalmist says, "You are my hiding place, you preserve me and surround me with shouts of deliverance!" When you look at forgiveness that way, we should rejoice so much more than how we normally react to sin. I don't know about you, but I often find myself continuing to bury my head in the sand when I sin. I hold onto that and continue to beat myself up. I acknowledge that I am forgiven, but I fail to surrender it completely. I understand that we have consequences that may go beyond our prayer of confession, depending upon the authority over us---but why give yourself lashes when it's already been done? Why crucify yourself when Christ has already taken your place. You can recognize the horrific act of Christ dying for you, but also remember, that He is the perfect sacrifice, the perfect Lamb, Atonement for our sins and you trying to make yourself into a mini sacrifice, won't cut it! He's done it! Relate to him, but ultimately see his sacrifice as sufficient, and REJOICE in your forgiveness! I like the promise of verses 7-8 which are from God. They say that he will instruct us in the way we should go and his eye will be upon us. At times, I am one to not like observance of someone. In my internship, we will often have our preceptor go with us and observe our charting or consulting of a patient and you get pretty insecure with her eyes watching you. But there is also rest in it because you know that if you make a mistake, she is there to counsel you, to help you and make sure that you do it right. There is security within the insecurity: dependence upon God to help you. In addition, the verse makes reference to a mule or a horse with a bit. We are to be obedient in those moments of counsel or direction---to not doubt the instructions from God. This is just like when my preceptor says that I need to make this statement in the chart or visit with the patient about this ---if I don't do it, then not only is my preceptor in shock of my disobedience, and that patient may not be getting the best care possible. There is something to be said about being obedient in the moment you are asked to do something: a trust is immediately created and in that trust, God is glorified in your life. Ending this passage, the Psalmist makes the statement that 'many are the sorrows of the wicked.' Do you live in constant sorrow? Is your heart continually troubled? Perhaps you have good reason! Perhaps you are wicked and are in need of surrendering your life to God. But if you have surrendered your life to Christ, maybe you're like me in the sense that you continue to live in light of the sin rather than living in light of the sacrifice. The passage ends with the command to rejoice in God's steadfast love that surrounds those who trust God. Do you trust God? Do you truly believe that He will forgive you? Do you fear yourself more than God? I do sometimes. I have standards set-up in my mind that force me to fear myself more than God: and that's wrong! It's wrong! I am all about recognizing your sin and experiencing that dead weight that is caused by the Spirit's convictions. I think of Luther who use to sleep on the cold, damp floor and roll around in ashes because he recognized his unworthiness before our Righteous and Holy God. Go ahead and recognize your unworthiness, but then rejoice and be glad and shout for joy with an upright heart! You have been forgiven a mighty fine: eternal separation from our loving God. That is something to take joy in!

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