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Repentance and Joy

Repentance as an Expression of Worship

Read Psalm 32

“I confess my transgressions to the Lord, and you forgave the guilt of my sin”

Psalm 32 is one of the seven Psalms known as the Penitential Psalms or Psalms of confession. They are part of the larger category dealing with the Psalms of Lament. In Psalms of Lament (such as Psa. 6 and 13), the psalmist begins with a cry of distress where he cries out to God in detail and with picturesque vividness. In the Penitential Psalms, that which is causing his distress is his own sin and the subsequent alienation and judgment of God. For the Psalmist there was the deep recognition that sin always creates an impassable wall between us and a holy God. In this Psalm, David gives expression to our own inward struggle with sin. Sin and alienation from God rob us of the vitality of life as guilt brings inward turmoil in the soul. As Covid-19 continues, we experience emotional exhaustion as we struggle to deal with the social isolation and the disruption it. But all these pales in comparison to the emotional and spiritual toll that the guilt of unconfessed sin exacts upon us. While we draw encouragement from the knowledge that someday Covid-19 will be fade, there is no such hope for the guilt and turmoil of sin. The longer it is present the more intense is the devastation it brings.

However, after confronting us with the effects of sin, David does not leave us in the hopeless despair of guilt. Instead, he provides us with both the certainty of hope and the joy of freedom. The answer to discovering freedom from guilt is remarkably simple. It did not require some great acts of penance and religious sacrifices. Rather the answer was found in the simple act of confession and repentance.

While the answer is simple it is not easy, for it requires us to do the one thing that our inherent sin nature abhors and that is, to be honest with ourselves and God about our sin. Sin wants to remain hidden and concealed from the light of day. As Christ points out in John 3:20, “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” To confess our sin is no longer hide our sin, but openly reveal them to God (verse 5). It requires us to be honest about our failures. Yet when we confess our sins, the results are instantaneous: We are completely forgiven of all our guilt (Verse 6)

Psalm 32 is one of the seven Psalms known as the Penitential Psalms or Psalms of confession. They are part of the larger category dealing with the Psalms of Lament. In Psalms of Lament (such as Psa. 6 and 13), the psalmist begins with a cry of distress where he cries out to God in detail and with picturesque vividness. In the Penitential Psalms, that which is causing his distress is his own sin and the subsequent alienation and judgment of God. For the Psalmist there was the deep recognition that sin always creates an impassable wall between us and a holy God. In this Psalm, David gives expression to our own inward struggle with sin. Sin and alienation from God rob us of the vitality of life as guilt brings inward turmoil in the soul. As Covid-19 continues, we experience emotional exhaustion as we struggle to deal with the social isolation and the disruption it. But all these pale in comparison to the emotional and spiritual toll that the guilt of unconfessed sin exacts upon us. While we draw encouragement from the knowledge that someday Covid-19 will be fade, there is no such hope for the guilt and turmoil of sin. The longer it is present the more intense is the devastation it brings.

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