Blessed is the one

    whose transgressions are forgiven,

    whose sins are covered.

2 Blessed is the one

    whose sin the Lord does not count against them

    and in whose spirit is no deceit.

We are just past the half way mark in Exodus, and for the next few days we’re going to take a short break, and work our way through Psalm 32.

I have to admit that this psalm has been very much on my mind in recent weeks, because a couple of friends came round to our home to pray with Jilly and myself, and they shared Psalm 32:8 with us. Not only has that verse come to mean a lot, but I’ve felt inspired to take a fresh look at this lovely psalm. I suggest you begin by reading the whole 11 verses, and consider what the Lord is saying to you through it, before you read any thoughts of mine.

Today, though, we will focus on verses 1,2, where we see the blessing of full forgiveness.

I understand that this is the first use of the word “Blessed” in the psalter since Psalm 1. The truly happy life is the totally forgiven life. As someone observed, the prodigal is welcomed home, the singing and dancing begin, a party is thrown.

I am struck by the comprehensive language used here:

  • “Transgressions” are ‘rebellions’. This refers to deliberately going against God’s known will; when we do what we know to be wrong. We see a big, unmistakeable sign saying, ‘No trespassing’, but we cross that boundary line anyway;
  • “Sins” are specific items of wrongdoing in thought, word and deed;
  • “Sin” is what we might call our general fallenness/our sinfulness – our sinful disposition.

I will return to this thought when we come to verse 11, but our greatest cause for happiness is to know that all our sins are fully forgiven through faith in Jesus’ blood – that ‘Calvary covers it all’. (David knew a fully comprehensive forgiveness, but we have a far richer understanding and experience in the light of the Cross and the full revelation of Scripture).

‘My sin, O the bliss of this glorious thought,

My sin, not in part but the whole;

Is nailed to His Cross, and I bear it no more,

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul.’