Psalm 32

What does it take to be truly happy?

Forgiveness.

Psalm 32 says that truly happy people, blessed people, are those whose sins have been forgiven by God.

Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD
does not count against them
and in whose spirit is no deceit. (v. 1-2)

Only God can cover our sins.
And when He does, our sins do not count against us.

Only God can cover our sins.
And when He does, we do not have to try to hide our sins from Him, from others, or from ourselves. We can be honest about our sins and our need for forgiveness.

David knew what it was like to be truly happy and forgiven.
He also knew what it was like to be truly miserable, trying to keep silent and not admit he had sinned. The weight of his hidden sin robbed him of strength and peace.

When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night
your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. (v. 3-4)

David knew what it was like to try to cover his sin in silence. Trying to cover his sin on his own brought only suffering.

But when he stopped hiding, when he admitted he had sinned, when he confessed that sin to God, David was forgiven. The heavy burden of guilt was lifted.

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. (v. 5)

Restored, David counsels others to turn to God for forgiveness as well.

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. (v. 6)

The truly happy, those who have their sins covered by God, find safety. They do not have to hide from their sins. Instead, the forgiven are hidden by God when trouble arises.

You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance. (v. 7)

David warns others not to be stubborn, like he once was, and try to cover their sins on their own. David offers the counsel of his experience to teach others: It is better to come willingly to God, to confess your sins, and to receive the blessing of forgiveness.

I will instruct you and teach you in
the way you should go;
I will counsel you and watch over you.
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. (v. 8-9)

Miserable or truly happy?

It depends on who is covering your sins, you or God.

Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered. (v. 1)

Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the LORD’s unfailing love
surrounds the one who trusts in him. (v. 10)

Father, I confess my sin to you. I do not want to try to hide it anymore. Forgive me. Thank you for covering my sins on the cross. Thank you for the blessing of your forgiveness. You are my hiding place. I place my trust in you. Amen.

psalm 32

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