Psalms 32

1 By David. A maskil: How blessed are those whose offense is forgiven, those whose sin is covered!
2 How blessed those to whom ADONAI imputes no guilt, in whose spirit is no deceit!
3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away because of my groaning all day long;
4 day and night your hand was heavy on me; the sap in me dried up as in a summer drought. (Selah)
5 When I acknowledged my sin to you, when I stopped concealing my guilt, and said, "I will confess my offenses to ADONAI"; then you, you forgave the guilt of my sin. (Selah)
6 This is what everyone faithful should pray at a time when you can be found. Then, when the floodwaters are raging, they will not reach to him.
7 You are a hiding-place for me, you will keep me from distress; you will surround me with songs of deliverance. (Selah)
8 "I will instruct and teach you in this way that you are to go; I will give you counsel; my eyes will be watching you."
9 Don't be like a horse or mule that has no understanding, that has to be curbed with bit and bridle, or else it won't come near you.
10 Many are the torments of the wicked, but grace surrounds those who trust in ADONAI.
11 Be glad in ADONAI; rejoice, you righteous! Shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

Psalms 32 Commentary

Chapter 32

The happiness of a pardoned sinner. (1,2) The misery that went before, and the comfort that followed the confession of sins. (3-7) Sinners instructed, believers encouraged. (8-11)

Verses 1-2 Sin is the cause of our misery; but the true believer's transgressions of the Divine law are all forgiven, being covered with the atonement. Christ bare his sins, therefore they are not imputed to him. The righteousness of Christ being reckoned to us, and we being made the righteousness of God in him, our iniquity is not imputed, God having laid upon him the iniquity of us all, and made him a sin-offering for us. Not to impute sin, is God's act, for he is the Judge. It is God that justifies. Notice the character of him whose sins are pardoned; he is sincere, and seeks sanctification by the power of the Holy Ghost. He does not profess to repent, with an intention to indulge in sin, because the Lord is ready to forgive. He will not abuse the doctrine of free grace. And to the man whose iniquity is forgiven, all manner of blessings are promised.

Verses 3-7 It is very difficult to bring sinful man humbly to accept free mercy, with a full confession of his sins and self-condemnation. But the true and only way to peace of conscience, is, to confess our sins, that they may be forgiven; to declare them that we may be justified. Although repentance and confession do not merit the pardon of transgression, they are needful to the real enjoyment of forgiving mercy. And what tongue can tell the happiness of that hour, when the soul, oppressed by sin, is enabled freely to pour forth its sorrows before God, and to take hold of his covenanted mercy in Christ Jesus! Those that would speed in prayer, must seek the Lord, when, by his providence, he calls them to seek him, and, by his Spirit, stirs them up to seek him. In a time of finding, when the heart is softened with grief, and burdened with guilt; when all human refuge fails; when no rest can be found to the troubled mind, then it is that God applies the healing balm by his Spirit.

Verses 8-11 God teaches by his word, and guides with the secret intimations of his will. David gives a word of caution to sinners. The reason for this caution is, that the way of sin will certainly end in sorrow. Here is a word of comfort to saints. They may see that a life of communion with God is far the most pleasant and comfortable. Let us rejoice, O Lord Jesus, in thee, and in thy salvation; so shall we rejoice indeed.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO PSALM 32

\\<<[A Psalm], of David, Maschil>>\\. This is the first of the psalms that bears this title: some think it is the name of a musical instrument, on which this psalm was sung; others the first word of a song, to the tune of which it was sung, as Aben Ezra; some say it is so called, because it was explained by an interpreter, as Jarchi; and the Rabbins {k} say, that every psalm that is called "Maschil" was dictated by an interpreter: the Targum renders it "a good understanding"; and the word properly signifies "instruction", or "causing to understand" {l}; and it may be the apostle has some reference to this title in 1Co 14:15; It is an instructive psalm; a didascalic ode, as Junius renders it: it gives an account how the psalmist was instructed under a dispensation of Providence; and was brought to a sense of sin, and acknowledgment of it; and was favoured with a discovery of pardoning grace; and in it he takes upon him to instruct others, Ps 32:8,9, and does instruct in the doctrine of the pardon of sin by the grace of God. {k} Elias Levita in Tishbi, p. 271. {l} lykvm "erudiens", Musculus, Munster, Vatablus, Montanus; "informans", Gejerus; "an instructing psalm", Ainsworth.

Psalms 32 Commentaries

Complete Jewish Bible Copyright 1998 by David H. Stern. Published by Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.