Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
JOY OF 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. (Psalm 32:5)The 32nd psalm, written by king David, is an exemplary psalm of instruction that teaches us that if we confess our sins, God - out of grace –will forgive us. The psalmist understands the value of confession because he first tried to resist it. He hid his faults, sealed his heart and lips and wouldn’t speak his sins, but the result was agony and groaning all day.
Few people carried a heavier burden of the guilt than did king David. He –the man after God’s own heart, the man who composed so many of the psalms, the man chosen by the Lord to lead His people Israel – committed unspeakable vile and callous acts. He lusted after his neighbor’s wife, committed adultery with her, and had her husband killed to cover it all up. If a man like David can fall into sin and be burdened with guilt then who are we to think we are above or beyond such things? If a man like David can cry out to the Lord for forgiveness, then shouldn’t we be doing the same?
The Agony of not Confessing: Saint Augustine said that the beginning of knowledge is to know oneself to be a sinner. Sins have an annoying tendency to nag our mind and bother our conscience. Un-confessed sin leads to a troubled heart.
The Act of Confession: David confessed and he was forgiven. Be mindful that David was not forgiven because he confessed. We can’t simply get down on our knees before God and expect forgiveness. Forgiveness, says Paul in Romans, is by grace and through faith. We see two very important principles here. First, we are forgiven by grace and through faith. Second, God wants us to confess our sins to him so we can live in the joy of forgiveness.
The Joy of Forgiveness: The main point of this psalm is not to tell us about confession, or about sin but to tell us about the joy of forgiveness. Once David confessed his sin, his transgressions were forgiven and his sins were covered; his mood is one of elation and joy and gladness. God does the same for us as He did for Adam and Eve in the Garden. Like the coat of skins with which God clothed Adam and Eve, God covers us – with the robe of Christ’s righteousness. So that God is no longer displeased with us but perfectly reconciled to and with us. Divine forgiveness is the only gateway to genuine happiness.
Prayer: Good Lord, I repent of my sins and ask for your forgiveness for all the offences I have committed against you. Amen.
Samuel K Samuel, St. Thomas MTC, New Y