If someone asked you to describe forgiveness, how would you do it! Where would you begin? How long would it take?

Forgiveness is something to shout about.

The manufacturers of Tide laundry detergent once has a website for stain remover called “The Stain Detective.” Users could identify the type of stain they were trying to remove, submit a request for advice, and receive information regarding the best way to get the stain out of the fabric. Of course, most of the solutions involved the use of a Tide product.

In Psalm 32, David is our “spiritual detective “ as he counsels us how to remove the stain of sin in our lives. No matter what sin has marred your life. David directs us to the same solution, David directs us to the same solution. Forgiveness is found in God alone.

David is excited about forgiveness and wants everyone to shout about it!

Experiencing Forgiveness

Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord doesn’t count against him in whose spirit is de deceit.

Forgiveness is a state of being that is exciting. It feels good! Notice David writes Blessed is he and Blessed is the man. Look at the meaning of the words used to describe what God does when He forgiveness a person:

A. Forgiven- He lifts up the burden of guilt and carries it away.

B. Covered- He covers the sin from view.

C. Does Not Count Against – God chooses not to think of the forgiven as guilty anymore.

Needing Forgiveness

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

Notice first what is not mentioned here. The actual sin is not identified. In this passage David fails to tell us what his sin was. He doesn’t even give us a hint. Why? Because what he did is not the issue. The focus is on God’s forgiveness. The seriousness of the sin doesn’t affect the capacity of God to forgive.

After he sinned, David says, I kept silent. That’s when his trouble began. We try to manage guilt. We try to cope with guilt. We try to rationalize guilt away. We try to blame someone else to minimize our guilt. Observe what happens

Physical Deterioration

He writes my bones wasted away. No one questions the delicate balance between mind and body anymore. Guilt ravages a person physically.

Mental Suffering

David describes a relentless anguish in his soul. It does not stop. He is groaning all day long.

Spiritual Separation

David feels distance between God and himself. It appeared that God was hostile towards him. Guilt warps our perception of who God is and His readiness to forgive us.

Ultimately all enjoyment of life is lost. Our strength and desire for life is transformed into a arid, dry landscape.

Receiving Forgiveness

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.

David describes how to thoroughly deal with guilt and obtain forgiveness from God.

Sin must be acknowledged. David writes I acknowledged my sin to you. He simply and clearly stated that what he did was a sin. This can be part challenging if we believe others are to blame.

Sin must be exposed. David adds that he didn’t cover up his sin. Literally he is saying, “I have made my sin naked and bare before You.” The word cover refers to the normal function of a garment in it’s natural sense. When we confess our sin, we strip away all the ridiculous attitude we use to “dress up” what we have done. This is an experience of shame. It doesn’t fee, good, but it will not last for long. Remember that whatever we expose and uncover through confession, God will soon cover and hide from view through His forgiveness.

Sin must be confessed. The word confess means to cast or throw something away. Confession is the act of fully casting away our sin, guilt and shame before God.

Do you see the entire pictures hat David has painted for us? We call what we did “sin” as God does. We take full responsibility for the sin. We make no attempt to “dress up” or hide our sin, rather we expose it before God. Then we take that sin and cast it away from us before God.

When we do that, we can confidently join in David’s joy when he writes that God forgave the guilt of my sin.

So, rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous sing, all you who are upright in heart.

In the final verse of Psalm 32, David makes it clear that rejoicing is a non-optional activity for those who really know the forgiveness of God. They have something to shout about.

Psalm 32