Psalms 32

Listen to Psalms 32
1 Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!
2 Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
3 When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long.
4 Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Interlude
5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD .” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Interlude
6 Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
7 For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. Interlude
8 The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.
9 Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
10 Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the LORD .
11 So rejoice in the LORD and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!

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.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Greek version reads of sin. Compare Rom 4:8 .

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

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.