Wednesday, December 18, 2013
The Sweetest Words
Psalm 32 expresses David’s joy in experiencing the freedom of God’s forgiveness. But, for a while, David did not rejoice because he refused to confess his sin (v. 3). God’s tough but gracious discipline brought David to the point that he laid everything before the Lord without holding back. He stopped trying to hide his guilt from God (v. 5). The result of his full confession was God’s forgiveness, which led to David’s rejoicing: “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!” (v. 1).Who would think that some of the sweetest words David could speak were "I confess...." Our world today seems to think those are the worst possible words a human can speak. And yet from them flows freedom and joy.
Mark concludes his thoughts on Psalm 32:
Often, the very sins that haunt us the most are the ones we have the hardest time confessing. Our shame over our failure keeps us from telling God the truth of what we have done. Yet, by the power of his Spirit, when we are set free to be honest about our worst offenses, then we are finally able to know the transforming power of divine forgiveness. We can experience in real-time the truth of 1 John 1:8-9: “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” From all wickedness! Now that's what I call good news.What a radically different world this would be if the church chose to approach confession as a source of joy. Sometimes I long for a church that would do so.