Rejoice in the Lord
Vs.11"Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart".
St. Augustine said that the beginning of knowledge is to know oneself to be a sinner. In order to remind of his depraved sinfulness and God’s gracious forgiveness, St. Augustine had engraved this Psalm on his bedroom wall as he lay dying in his bed. He read it all the time and when he was too sick, he instructed others to recite it for him. Psalm 32 is considered as one of the penitential Psalm in church tradition and is also classified as a psalm of thanksgiving and wisdom psalm. This psalm contains the heaviness of sin, the happiness of forgiveness and the help from God. It includes the nature and benefits of confession, as well as God’s character as a gracious and forgiving God.
The effect of sin: The psalmist kept silent about his sin for a while. This silence had affected him physically, emotionally and spiritually. During that time he lived in constant misery and physical distress. This is true of many of us. Many Christians have secret sins. Instead of confessing our sins, we often bury them or just try to ignore them. Anger and bitterness can come as result of our unconfessed sin and will eat our inside out. This guilt destroys our confidence, damages our relationship and keeps us stuck in the past. Living with the unconfessed sin will miss the mark of God’s perfection.
The confession of sin: Confession is more than merely informing God that we have sinned. But it involves a turning away. The psalmist admitted “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”. Then the burden of his guilt was lifted. The aches of his body left him, his cries turned to joy. Once again he could straighten up and hold his head high because he had been restored to the holy position. This is a blessed situation and this psalm refers to the blessingness of a forgiven life.
This psalm has also been referred to as “Psalm of St. Paul”, because it is quoted extensively in the Epistle to Romans to establish that we are declared righteous not because of what we have done, but because of what Christ has done on the cross for our sin. So let us say with St. Paul that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, and the new has come. The key to Christian life is not our personal holiness, but our repentance before God.
O Son of God, who died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead, thank you for bearing our sin and giving us the gift of eternal life. Make us into a new creation you want us to be. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Our God wants to forgive more than we want to be forgiven.Rev. A. B. Binu, Ebenezer MTC, Vikaspuri, New Delhi.