Chapter 1.
The Delight from Being Delivered

Psalm 32

Psalm 32 is the first of 13 maschil psalms. This word "maschil" is derived from a verb meaning "to be prudent; to be wise." It means "a contemplative song, a song imparting moral wisdom or instruction." It is a song that gives instruction. This chapter is also the second of seven penitential psalms. The thoughts in this psalm are similar to Psalm 51. Psalm 51 reflects the immediate confession of David's sin and restoration. It gives a sense of the emotion of the moment after being confronted. Psalm 32, however, seems to be written later after some reflection. It may be the fulfillment of the vow in Psalm 51:13, "I will teach transgressors thy way."

Psalm 32 was the favorite psalm of the influential St. Augustine. He had it inscribed on his wall next to his bed before he died in order to meditate upon it better. This psalm was also used by the Jews at the close of the Day of Atonement each year when the High Priest made a sacrifice for the sins of the nation of Israel.

This chapter shows what happens when our sin is concealed and also when it is confessed, cleansed, and conquered. It speaks of the delight of being delivered from sin. Notice verse one.

I. THE BLESSING OF FORGIVENESS—32:1-2

What a blessing it is to be forgiven when you have wronged or offended others. When we have wronged someone, we know it, and usually feel lousy about it. Our pride says, "It was their fault. You don't need to make matters right." A husband may have been harsh with his wife or a wife may have been rebellious or cold toward her husband, yet, because of pride and bitterness, be unwilling to admit any wrong at all. The result, however, is they end up feeling lousy when they adopt this attitude. Release from the guilt comes from swallowing pride, seeking forgiveness, and making matters right.

If you want to enjoy the blessing of being forgiven, then you must deal with the sin issues in your life. You will continue to grapple with guilt as long as you excuse your wrongs or try to ignore or hide what you have done. Confronting your sins, acknowledging your faults, taking responsibility for what you have done wrong, and seeking forgiveness from God and others you have offended leads to deliverance from the depression, discouragement, and despair of your stupidity, selfishness, stubbornness, and sinful choices. Repentance of wrong leads to forgiveness and atonement. Our sins are covered by God.

David says it is a blessing when your transgression is forgiven. Let's focus on the word "blessed" for a moment. It comes from the Hebrew word ʾesher {eh'-sher}. This word often refers to the happiness that God-given security and prosperity produce. Here it refers to the relief that one experiences when one's sins are forgiven. This is the second time the word "blessed" begins a psalm. In the first psalm, it was used to describe the man who walks in God's way. Here it is used to describe a person who has not walked in God's way, but has been forgiven after he has repented, and now he enjoys the joy from the Lord. God does not want us to be miserable. He really does want us to be happy. If you look only in the book of Psalms, you will find that the Lord provides several insights on how to be happy.

1. You can find happiness by putting your trust in the Lord.

Psalm 34:8—O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Psalm 84:12—O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

Psalm 40:4—Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Many times, people become miserable because the object of their trust ends up letting them down. Husbands and wives have been hurt by one another because a spouse betrayed the trust that was between them. Fooling around with other women or men will damage your marriage for sure. Failure to keep your word or promises will disappoint others that are trusting you or counting upon you for a need. When you trust in the Lord, you are delegating your life, your circumstances, and your problems to Him. You then wait for His direction to help you make your decisions.

2. You can find happiness by being dependent upon the Lord and relying on Him for Strength.

Psalm 84:5—Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.

What we face each day drains our strength. One day you may be physically tired. On another day you may be mentally wiped out and can't think clearly. Then there are those days where you are emotionally squeezed to death. The vultures of depression, discouragement, fear, panic, and worry circle you, waiting to pounce and eat you alive. The person who knows how to tap into God's strength and depend on Him is the one that finds happiness. When you seek God's strength and He provides it, you'll know it! You will be able to see through the fog of frustration and failure, the clouds of confusion and chaos, the tornadoes of trouble and tribulation, the hurricanes of hurt, and the dust storms of disappointment, doubt, and depressing, draining circumstances.

Ernest Gordon was the Dean of the Chapel of Princeton University for 26 years. He experienced his call to ministry in a Japanese concentration camp during World War II. Gordon and his fellow prisoners were used as slave labor to build the Thailand-Burma Railroad, and hundreds of them perished from mistreatment. As an officer, Gordon struggled to help his men make sense of all the suffering they had to endure. He became deathly ill, however, and was spared only by the care of Chaplain Dusty Miller, who shared his own precious rations with Gordon. At one point, as Chaplain Miller nursed Gordon's broken body back to health, he spoke the words that would nurse Gordon's broken soul back to health as well (and call him into ministry). Miller told him: "A man can experience an incredible amount of pain and suffering if he has hope. When he loses his hope, that's when he dies." Beloved, our hope in the Lord is our strength. Our reliance upon Him leads to joy and praise.

Psalm 43:5—Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

3. You can find happiness by being disciplined and discipled by the Lord.

Psalm 94:12—Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law.

God's correction and His instructions give happiness. They give us security in knowing what to do and what not to do. The process of discipline and instruction can be unpleasant, but it leads to blessing and joy. A.B. Cooper said that one autumn day he went to a chrysanthemum show and observed some wonderful blooms. He inquired of a gardener, "How in the world do you manage to produce such marvelous flowers?" "Well, sir, we concentrate all the strength of the plant in one or two blooms. If we would allow it to bear all the flowers it could, none would be worth showing. If you want a prize specimen, you must be content with a single chrysanthemum instead of a score." For the same reason, God sends trials to prune from our lives the useless blooms of self, popularity, and comfort, so that He may perfect in us one exquisite, white blossom of holiness.

Hebrews 12:11—Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

4. You can find happiness by having a respect and reverence for the Lord.

Psalm 112:1—Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.

When you have a respect for the Lord, you will consider His Word important. You will not only take time to read it, but obey it. Church will be important to you when you have a reverence for Christ. Making your life count for Christ will be an important issue to you. Your reverence and respect for Christ will influence you to make decisions that are pleasing to the Lord. The result is peace, joy, and happiness because your conscience is clear with God and you know you are doing what He wants you to do.

5. You can find happiness by not scarring your life with sin.

Psalm 1:1—Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

It is ironic that many people believe you find happiness by being accepted by the crowd. Whatever the crowd is doing, they do it too, whether it is right or wrong. The need for acceptance is vital no matter what the cost. Those who follow a path that is anti-God, anti-Bible, and anti-church feel that doing whatever you want, whenever you want, is what makes you happy and free. Some feel that getting drunk, getting high on drugs, or being involved in immorality is going to make them happy when in truth, it leaves them empty, craving for more. The cravings eventually turn into addictions. Folks that engage in this type of living find that if their choices are sinful, their sinful decisions do not leave them free, but in bondage physically, financially, emotionally, or spiritually. Sinful living does not pay. It is expensive and always costs something. The prodigal son found out this lesson the hard way like millions and millions of others throughout history.

Luke 15:14—And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

For thirty years Mrs. Doreen Burley of Rawstenstall, England, polished her strange and lovely ornament. She let her grandchildren play with it, always returning it to its prominent place on the mantel. In March of 1988, she learned something about her ornament. It was a live bomb! When people choose to scoff at God's Word concerning marriage and morality and decide to marry an unbeliever or shack up with someone without being married, they are not building a foundation for future happiness, joy, and stability for their own lives or their children, yet this is what they so badly desire. Instead, they are laying the groundwork for instability, distrust, insecurity, heartbreak and fear. In fact, their sin is like playing with a live bomb. What they feel is so much fun will destroy them and their family. Wicked living never creates stability or peace. It is a thief that steals away your smile, your serenity, your spiritual growth, and any sense or smarts you may have had.

Isaiah 57:20-21—... But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. [21] There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.

This verse is either true or it is not. Trust me, it's true!

Proverbs 14:1—Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

True love, peace, joy, happiness, and stability come from the Lord. These are His gifts to the home. When a woman makes the choice to disregard what God has clearly stated in His Word, she becomes a fool and destroys her life and her home, especially if children are involved. She sets a terrible, damaging example for her children that they may follow when they are older and the cycle of wickedness is repeated again in her children's lives.

The reason I believe the woman is mentioned here in Proverbs 14:1 is because she makes the choice to do what is right or wrong when it comes to living with a man. A man can rape a woman, but to shack up in sin with a man has to be a decision that the woman is in agreement with. She can decide to live a godly life and follow Christ or she can decide to disobey God and let any man warm her bed until he tires of her and he is gone or she is fed up with him. When your home is based on this kind of living, then the Lord is not the foundation of your home because your lifestyle is in violation of His will. That is why His blessing is not on your lives.

The foundation of immorality and adultery are selfishness and sensuality which create instability, insensitivity, and insecurity, three elements which most people are trying to avoid, but are fleeing to when they mock God and His Word. Sin is a magnet for suffering. It is going to come because your sinful choices are setting the stage for suffering in your life. This is exactly what Satan wants for your life. He wants you to suffer and ruin your life. He wants you to be so totally messed up that you become ineffective for the Lord and won't touch Him with a ten foot pole because the desire to do so is totally obliterated.

Those who live it up think they will be happy, but in reality they will be miserable because they are not satisfied when they thought they would be, even though they got their own way. There are many that live in sin that are bothered by what they have done and feel guilty, especially if they have hurt someone else or if they have hurt their testimony, their example with others, or if they have become involved in sexual sins. They are not happy because they got what they wanted and it wasn't that great, and they also lost what they had. Some lose purity, respect from others, health, money from damages or foolish choices, a close walk with God, and friends that will not tolerate their behavior. Some folks even lose their lives from their wicked choices.

Proverbs 14:12—There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Rising mortgage rates had nothing to do with Nur Malena Hassan moving into a glass box. The 24-year-old Malaysian woman's residence was temporary, as she tried to break the existing world record of 32 days, held by a woman from Thailand. The catch? Hassan's glass home included 6,000 scorpions. On August 21, 2004, the crowd at a shopping mall witnessed Hassan step into the box, showing no outward signs of fear. This was her second attempt. The first attempt, a few days previously, had failed due to a lack of scorpions. This time the glass box was filled with 6,069 volunteers who quickly covered Hassan's body. Allowed to leave the box for 15 minutes each day, Hassan made the box home for 36 days. She emerged on September 25, 2004 with the new world record. Not surprisingly, Nur Malena Hassan suffered 17 stings. That's what happens when you lay down with scorpions. Beloved, when you live in sin, you will also get stung.

Individuals who brush the Lord out of their lives also find that happiness alludes them because they realize what they were told about living it up has left them feeling down in the dumps. They realize they have been deceived and following a lie, but it is too late to undo the damage they have done to their own lives or the lives of others they have hurt. This is why the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly is happy or blessed. He is not making a bunch of stupid, destructive, sinful decisions that will leave him with guilt and regret for many years. God has blessed him with joy, peace, security, stability, and pleasure.

Psalm 16:11—Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

The psalmist in Psalm 1 also states that the person who has learned to forgive and conquer anger and bitterness is also blessed and happy because he is not sitting in the seat of the scornful. It is especially essential that in your home that you do not allow bitterness toward your parents or your spouse to destroy your love and joy with one another. If you are not careful, you can end up sitting in the seat of the scornful as a teenager, a parent, a husband or wife. You will find that some of your greatest battles with bitterness will be in your own home, with your own husband, wife, parents, children, brothers, or sisters. The happy man or woman chooses not to walk this path, but to conquer anger by a forgiving spirit.

David said in Psalm 32:1-2, "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. [2] Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile." Let's shift the focus now to the sin aspect of these verses. Sin is so offensive that God uses 15 different words for sin in the Old Testament. Four words are mentioned in this chapter.

1. Sin's Defiance—"Transgression"

The word "transgression" is from the Hebrew word peshaʿ {peh'-shah}. It means "a going away or departure; rebellion against God's authority; an act of revolt; crossing over the line or going out of bounds." We are in the wrong when we backslide or rebel against God. His boundary between right and wrong are laid out in Scripture. When we step over those boundaries, we are transgressing against the Lord.

2. Sin's Defect—"Sin"

The word "sin" is from the Hebrew word chataʾah {khat-aw-aw'}. This word means "falling short of the mark" When we fail to do what God commands us to do, we are wrong. There are sins of commission and sins of omission.

James 4:17—Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Romans 3:23—For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

3. Sin's Distortion—"Iniquity"

The word "iniquity" is from the Hebrew word ʿavon {aw-vone'}. It means "depraved, corrupt, warped, or crooked." It describes the inner character of a person. Our flesh is bent, warped, and crooked. Sin always corrupts and distorts what God has designed for our good.

4. Sin's Deception—"Guile"

The word "guile" is from the Hebrew word remiyah {rem-ee-yaw'}. It means "insincerity, cunning, duplicity, slothfulness, or deception." Satan is the master of deception. He is the father of lies. Our own sinfulness deceives ourselves. We justify and explain away our sin and then we reap the consequences. We can be our own worst enemy. God's warns us to not deceive ourselves.

1 Corinthians 3:18—Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

1 John 1:8—If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

David expressed the delight in being delivered from sin. It is the same delight we enjoy when we trust Jesus Christ as our Savior. He lists three responses of the Lord in regard to our sins when we repent and seek His forgiveness.


God's Response to our Sinfulness

1. Our sins are Forgiven—"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven..."

Our transgressions are forgiven by the Lord. The word "forgiven" is a beautiful word. We hear the word all the time, but what does it mean? It is from the Hebrew word nasaʾ {naw-saw'} which means "to lift up, to carry or sweep away; to bear." It is used almost 600 times in the Hebrew Bible. When I clean out my garage, I haul the junk away and take it to the dump. This is what the Lord does with the junk of our sins. The Lord lifts and carries away the heavy burden of our sins, making us clean and giving us rest at last. He also bore our guilt and punishment on the cross of Calvary and became our substitute, paying the price for our sins on the cross. Man's responsibility is to put his faith in Christ and accept His payment for our sins.

Matthew 11:28—Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

2 Corinthians 5:21—For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.


There are four main ideas in the Biblical concept of forgiveness.

A. There is the idea of why forgiveness is needed. Forgiveness is needed because we are sinners.

Romans 3:23—For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

B. There is the idea of a once-for-all forgiveness, a total forgiveness.

A man is once-for-all forgiven when he receives Jesus Christ as his Savior. Belief in Jesus Christ is the only condition for being forgiven once-for-all.

Ephesians 1:7—In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

C. There is the idea of forgiveness that maintains fellowship. Fellowship exists between God as Father and the believer as His child. When the child does wrong, the fellowship is disturbed and broken. The condition for restoring the fellowship is confessing and forsaking the sin. When we repent and seek forgiveness, our fellowship with God and believers are restored.

Psalm 66:18—If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

Proverbs 28:13—He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

D. There is the idea of a releasing from guilt. This is one of the differences between man's forgiveness of a man and God's forgiveness of a man. A man may forgive a person for wronging him, but he can never remove the guilt that his friend feels. He often cannot remove the resentment he feels within his own heart. Only God can remove the guilt and assure the removal of resentment. God forgives and erases the guilt and resentment.

Psalm 103:12—As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

1 John 1:9—If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

2. Our sins are Covered—"...whose sin is covered"

The word "covered" is from the Hebrew word kacah {kaw-saw'}. It means "to cover, conceal, or to hide." The filth of our sins are hidden out of sight by the Lord. This word is equal to the New Testament word "propitiation." Christ's blood atones or covers our sins. This is why we are able to go to Heaven and live in the presence of a holy God. Our sins are covered by the blood of Christ. God the Father sees the blood of Christ when He looks at the Christian. The death of Christ was the final and sufficient payment for eternal life, yet, you must accept His payment. Nothing else such as good works, religious deeds, etc., are sufficient payments for our sins.

In the Chicago Field Museum, there are skulls from ancient Indians. Some are called trepanned skulls because they have holes bored in them. Primitive people used to cut holes in the skulls of living people to let the demons out. We know now that evil cannot be evicted from us quite that easily. The Lord is the only One that has the power to cleanse our lives and save our souls.

Romans 3:24-25—... Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

The Greek word for "propitiation" is translated "mercy seat" in Hebrews 9:5. The High Priest sprinkled blood on the lid of the ark of the covenant once a year on the Day of Atonement to atone for the sins of the people.

1 John 2:2—And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 4:10—Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

3. Our sins are not Imputed—"Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity..."

What does the Lord mean by this word "impute?" The word "imputeth" is from the Hebrew word chashab {khaw-shab'} which means "to calculate, to account, to charge." It is a business term which means "to credit to another's account or to charge to their account." For example, if you authorize your lawyer to write checks on your bank account and he does, the checks he wrote will be charged to your account even though he wrote them.

In the book of Romans, we are told that Abraham believed God and it was counted or imputed to him for righteousness. Imperfect faith became perfect righteousness in the eyes of God. Righteousness was credited to his spiritual account because of his faith. Faith is required for salvation, but has no power in itself to save. It is the power of God's redemptive grace that saves us. He imputes or credits Christ's righteousness to our spiritual account. To impute is for one person to add something good or bad to the account of another person. There are three major imputations in the Bible.

A. Adam's sin was imputed to the human race.

Romans 5:12—Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

1 Corinthians 15:22—For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

B. Our sin was imputed to Christ.

Isaiah 53:5—But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53:11—He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

Hebrews 2:9—But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

1 Peter 2:24—Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

C. Christ's righteousness is imputed to us when we believe in Him.

Philippians 3:9—And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

We enjoy the delight of deliverance because our sins are forgiven, covered, and not imputed to our account when we put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

II. THE BURDEN OF A DEVASTATED BODY—32:3-4

David now proceeds to state his condition of mind before he himself found the delight from being delivered from the burden of his sin. He describes a man that carries the burden of his past. A burden that shadows him like a man tied to a heavy bag, dragging it everywhere. The foolish choices and decisions of his past haunt him like hyenas in the night on an African prairie. The memories of what he has done will not go away. His strength is exhausted, his heart is empty, his zeal for God is extinguished, and his joy has been exterminated.

Like many people today, David was unwilling to confess his sin and get right with God. That was the solution to his misery that he was unwilling to face. He did not want to deal with the past. The king attempted to conceal his wretchedness in his own heart. This he refers to by the expression, "When I kept silence," or "Before I confessed my sin," or "Before I made mention of it to God." David did not want to deal with what he had done. He did not want to talk about it at all, so he remained silent about the matter. David was no different than the person today who does not want to talk about Heaven and Hell and their need for Christ. He was no different than the person who is unwilling to get right with God when he is living in sin. Their attitude and response is, "I don't want to talk about it." I've heard this many times in my lifetime.

The phrase "kept silence" comes from an interesting Hebrew word. It is from the word charash {khaw-rash'} which not only means to be quiet, it also means "to show deafness or turn a deaf ear; to dig in or plough." The phrase "keeping silence" paints a picture of stubbornness. It gives the idea or picture of a person who digs in his heels like a mule and won't budge when pulled or a person with his ears covered and refuses to listen to reason. It portrays a person with a hard heart.

David describes the reasoning or state of mind which is very common in the case of sinners. They know that they are sinners, but they are unwilling to make confession of their guilt. He may have hoped that the guilt and conviction of his sin would die away in time and it would all be forgotten. He may have hoped to occupy his mind where he would not have to think about what he had done and get the matter right, but the conviction doesn't go away, does it? David was silent, but God was not. The Lord spoke to him through his conscience. His voice is so powerful that He doesn't have to speak very loud for us to hear Him.

1 Kings 19:12—And after the earthquake afire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

In the May 15th, 1995 issue of the The New Yorker magazine, Sara Mosle recounts that on March 18, 1937, a spark ignited a cloud of natural gas that had accumulated in the basement of the London, Texas school. The blast killed 293 people, most of them children. The explosion happened because the local school board wanted to cut heating costs. Natural gas, the by-product of petroleum extraction, was siphoned from a neighboring oil company's pipeline to fuel the building's furnace free of charge. The town of London never recovered from the blast that turned the phrase "boom town" into a bitter joke. The one positive effect of this disastrous event was government regulation requiring companies to add an odorant to natural gas. The distinctive aroma is now so familiar that we often forget natural gas is naturally odorless.

There is a tendency these days to classify all feelings of guilt as hazardous to our self. In reality, guilt can be valuable, an "odorant" that warns us of danger and compels us to change the direction of our life. Let me ask, "Has the Lord been dealing with you about past mistakes?" If so, get them right with Him. If you need to get right with others, then do so. Your unwillingness to do will leave you in the same condition as David. When we are stubborn and unwilling to repent, then our decision has devastating consequences on our life and our relationship with God. The price for stubbornness with God is more than you want to pay. It is costly and expensive.


The Cost of Stubbornness

1. Stubbornness toward God causes us to be Uncommitted and Unresolved to serve the Lord.

Psalm 78:8—And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God.

The Hebrew can also read "a generation that did not make firm its heart and whose spirit was not faithful with God."

Isaiah 46:12—Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness:

2. Stubbornness toward God makes us Unfaithful in our worship of Him. God considers it as idolatry.

1 Samuel 15:23—For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

It is compared to idolatry because we have exalted our own will above God's will and Word. What we want to do is more important than what God wants us to do.

Isaiah 30:9—That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord:

3. Stubbornness toward God makes us Unteachable. It robs us of common sense and wisdom. Throughout my lifetime, I never cease to be amazed at the thinking or reasoning of backsliders. They have no wisdom or common sense at all. It is as if they are bent on destroying themselves and they really don't care if they do. You can warn and plead with them, but they won't listen.

Proverbs 5:13—And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!

Exodus 8:15—But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.

When Pharaoh saw that relief had come from a plague, he became stubborn. He refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had predicted.

Exodus 8:19—Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.

Ecclesiastes 4:13—Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.

4. Stubbornness makes us Unwilling to submit to the Lord because we are proud and arrogant.

Exodus 10:3—And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me.

Romans 10:3—For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

5. Stubbornness toward God leaves us Unfulfilled. God uses our own stubbornness to chasten us when we refuse to obey Him. Getting our own way becomes a burden, leaving us unfulfilled, dissatisfied, or miserable. Getting your own way is not always the best thing for you. It can leave you empty and also create further problems for your life by the foolish choices you make.

Psalm 81:11-12—... But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. [12] So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels.

Psalm 106:15—And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.

Leviticus 26:21—And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.

David said when he kept silent, when he dug in and turned a deaf ear concerning his sins, it took a toll on him physically. He was experiencing the burden of a devastated body. Spurgeon said, "God does not permit His children to sin successfully." Our sinfulness takes a toll on us. Sin is like a serpent. The person that covers it is only keeping it warm so it can sting with its venom at a later time with destructive and damaging consequences. David's bones waxed old; his strength was exhausted as his body was aging quicky from the effects of his guilt. The Hebrew word used here and rendered "waxed old," would properly denote "decay," or "the wearing out of the strength by slow decay." Sin and rebellion devastate your body.

David's conviction and guilt caused him to roar or scream within. He was under severe anguish and distress. His sorrow was so great as to lead to loud and passionate cries; and this well describes the condition of a mind under deep trouble and distress at the remembrance of sin and the apprehension of the wrath of God. There was no relief. The burden of what he had done weighed upon him continually day and night. His bed would not give him sweet sleep because of the roars from his ruthlessness, the screams of his savageness and sensuality, and the taunts of his transgressions. The stress from his guilt was straining and stretching him physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. He was exhausted from the horrendous errors that he made in his life. God's hand was heavy upon him. Beloved, the Lord has a way of turning the screws and putting the pressure on us to get our attention. Job spoke of God's hand of pressure too.

Job 13:21—Withdraw thine hand far from me: and let not thy dread make me afraid.

Psalm 39:10—Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand.

The pressure that David was under was continual.... day and night. It would not go away. It may have seemed at first that he had gotten away with his murder of Uriah and adultery with Bathsheba, but he wasn't off the hook. God was working behind the scenes where no man could see... in this king's heart and mind. Everything was not hunky-dory and fun, fun, fun. He was drying up on the inside. His health was deteriorating under the stress of the guilt from his sin. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically he was falling apart. His body was wasting away. This man was not getting away with what he had done.

Through the years, I have had wives and husbands ask me why God does not deal with their adulterous husband or wife. They ask, "Why are they getting away with what they are doing?" I tell them they are not. God is putting the pressure on them even though they may not see it. They are not getting away with their wickedness. They are miserable and they are wasting away on the inside. Mentally they are exhausted from fighting with God. Financially, their sin has sifted their wealth to the point of utter poverty and waste.

Beloved, I want to assure you that God has a way of putting the pressure on us if we are rebellious until we get right with Him. His conviction and power has a way of drying up the physical and mental health of our body. David's strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Let me ask, "Have you done something in your past that you have refused to get right with God or with other people? If so, are you afflicted with health problems physically, emotionally, or mentally?" If the answer is "Yes," why not wake up today to the real source of your problem and get that matter right with God and right with others. In doing so you will enjoy the delight of deliverance. If you don't, your strength will continue to wither away. Mark it down, it will happen. Realize that your unwillingness to clear your conscience and repent will lead to further weakness. God will not be mocked.

Galatians 6:7—Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

What does Paul mean by the word "mocked?" It comes from the Greek word mukterizo {mook-tay-rid'-zo}. It means "to turn up the nose, to deride, sneer, or outwit." You cannot turn up your nose at God and get away with it. You may think you know more than Him, but you don't. He will not be outwitted, derided, or mocked. In the 19th century, Marie d'Agoult left her children to follow after the most famous pianist of her day, Hungarian composer and virtuoso Franz Liszt. After the ardor of her infatuation cooled and the reality of missing her children set in, Marie is said to have made this observation: "When one has smashed everything around oneself, one has also smashed oneself."

Steve Irwin, known around the world as the "Crocodile Hunter," was killed on September 4, 2006, while filming wildlife along the Great Barrier Reef. His death serves as a lesson on both the consequences of our actions and the tenuous reality of human life. Irwin was best known for the wildly popular, wildly dangerous antics on "Crocodile Hunter," his long-running television program. During the 14 years that the documentary was on the air, Irwin survived countless snake bites, being chased up a tree by a deadly Komodo dragon, being spat in the face by a red spitting cobra, and being pulled into the water by a massive crocodile.

At the time of Steve's death, he was in the Great Barrier Reef to film a documentary on the ocean's deadliest creatures. Ironically, it was one of the ocean's least harmful creatures that delivered Irwin's fatal blow. Due to poor weather, his team had stopped filming for the "Ocean's Deadliest" series, and so Irwin decided to do some work for a children's show that was to be hosted by his 8-year-old daughter, Bindi. While swimming with his cameraman, he came across a 5-foot-wide stingray and began to follow along behind it.

Stingrays are often called the "pussycats of the sea" because of their docile nature. In fact, they can be hand-fed by tourists on excursions from cruise-liners. Unfortunately, Irwin reportedly got a little too close to the animal, which thrust its poisonous, barbed tail upward in a defensive reflex. The 10-inch, serrated barb went into Irwin's chest and pierced his heart. He was only the 17th person in the world known to have been killed by a stingray. If the blow had struck almost anywhere else, he would have survived easily. He was rushed to the nearest island and picked up by a medical helicopter, but he passed away long before reaching the hospital.

Steve played with danger and was eventually destroyed by it when he least expected it. The same holds true for us. If we play with sin, whether it is drunkenness, drugs, sexual immorality, gambling, or pornography, it will hurt us. It may look fun, pleasant, and docile, but it has a sting in its tail that will smite our heart. It can strike and ruin our lives when we least expect it. We can become entangled in its thorns or sinking in its quicksand before we realize it, but then it is too late. Our lives have been severely scarred and damaged.

Proverbs 29:1—He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

For this reason, we should stay as far away as we can from a wild lifestyle and if we have gotten entangled in one, then repent and get out of it. Get your life right with God and with others who have been hurt or offended by your wickedness. Don't make the mistake that David made by lingering and languishing in disobedience.

1 John 1:9—If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We have seen so far, The Blessing of Forgiveness, and The Burden of a Devastated Body. We will now examine The Blame for Sin is Acknowledged. Notice verse five.

III. THE BLAME FOR SIN IS ACKNOWLEDGED—32:5

If you want to enjoy the delight of deliverance, then you must be willing to confess what you have done to the Lord. You must deal with that from which you need deliverance. David acknowledged what he had done and stopped hiding it. He confessed his wickedness to the Lord and got honest with God. This is the starting point to turning your life around if you have gone astray. A person needs to acknowledge and get honest with Jesus Christ about what he has done. If you are not willing to do this, then you are not going to get any help and your problems from your sinful lifestyle will persist. You will not enjoy the delight from deliverance.

Married for 16 years and with two great kids, Kurt Stansell seemed to have it all together. He had a successful investment counseling business, and he was a founding elder at his church. He was also a sex addict. Kurt's was the first to admit his problem. For years, Kurt struggled with pornography. It started with magazines, but eventually turned into visits to Triple-X theaters and strip joints. Kurt kept repeating a cycle of guilt and remorse, then prayer and repentance, only to find himself back at it again.

Eventually, Kurt found an "accountability partner" named Stan. At first, Kurt held back, being less than honest about his problem. But when he finally confessed, telling Stan the whole truth, Kurt immediately felt a weight lifted from his shoulders. He was on the road to victory. Kurt said, "I began to understand what shame does. When we, as Christians try to hide something in the darkness, we give Satan incredible license to work in our lives. So, the more open I could be, the less of a hold Satan seemed to have."

Acknowledging your sin is not a one time act. It is a duty that demands we do it repeatedly because we repeatedly sin and fail. This is indicated by the imperfect tense of the word "acknowledged" that David used here. The imperfect tense expresses an action, process or condition which is incomplete. Our relationship with God needs constant maintenance and demands that we get right with Him when we need to do so. One day we may be walking with Him in close fellowship, but on another day we may be as mean as the Devil and need to seek God's forgiveness for our failures.

Our justification with God is settled. We are saved and declared righteous before God, but our sanctification, our daily walk, our being set apart for God's service and glory needs constant maintenance because we continue to struggle with our flesh. This battle rages every day and will continue to do so until Jesus comes or we have gone home to be with the Lord. Paul spoke of this struggle.

Romans 7:18-25—... For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. [19] For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. [20] Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. [21] I find then a law, that, when 1 would do good, evil is present with me. [22] For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: [23] But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. [24] O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? [25] I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Whatever victories and achievements you have accomplished in the past are in the past. Today is a new day with new challenges, new temptations, and new battles to fight for God. Don't live in past achievements. Make sure that today you are walking with God and serving Him.

When we confess our sins to the Lord, we are agreeing with God about what we have done and offer no excuses. Our attitude is, "Lord you are right and I am wrong." This is the meaning behind the word "confess." Confession involves admitting our atrocities and attitudes, disclosing our depravity and disinterest with God, professing our pessimism and perverseness, being responsible for our rebellion and rejection of God, and seeking cleansing from our corruption and carnality. When we confess our sin to the Lord, we find cleansing, forgiveness, and salvation. He is the only one that can cleanse us of our sins.

James 5:16—Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Luke 18:13—And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

Romans 10:9-10—... That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. [10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

When we confess our sin, we need to make sure that what we are saying and what is going on in our heart is genuine. God knows a fake when He sees and hears one. He knows when we are hypocritical whether we are confessing our wrongs or professing to know or love Jesus Christ.

Matthew 7:21-23—... Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. [22] Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? [23] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Luke 13:26-27—... Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. [27] But he shall say, 1 tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

1 John 1:6—If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

1 John 2:4—He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Some men refuse to confess their sin to the Lord today because they do not acknowledge the authority of Jesus Christ as God. They will one day.

An anonymous author made this striking comparison: "Socrates taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, Aristotle for 40, and Jesus for only 3. Yet, the influence of Christ's 3-year ministry infinitely transcends the impact left by the combined 130 years of teaching from these men who were among the greatest philosophers of all antiquity.

Jesus painted no pictures; yet some of the finest paintings of Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci received their inspiration from the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus wrote no poetry; but Dante, Milton, and scores of the world's greatest poets were inspired by our Savior. Jesus composed no music; still Haydn, Handel, Beethoven, Bach, and Mendelssohn reached their highest perfection of melody in the hymns, symphonies, and oratorios they composed in their praise for the Son of God. Every sphere of human greatness has been enriched by this humble carpenter of Nazareth. His unique contribution to the race of men is the salvation of the soul! Philosophy could not accomplish that. Neither could art, literature or music save a sinner's soul.

Only Jesus Christ can break the enslaving chains of sin and Satan. He alone can speak peace to the human heart, strengthen the weak, and give life to those who are spiritually dead. Many today will not believe that Christ can cleanse and save their souls. Some feel their souls do not need saving, but one day they will understand the truth of who Jesus really is, but unfortunately it will be too late. Christ will get the praise that He deserves one day from the lips of those who loved Him and also loathed Him.

Philippians 2:9-11—... Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: [10] That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; [11] And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

David says here, "Selah." In other words, "Think about this!"

IV. THE BASIS FOR URGENT REPENTANCE—32:6

Forgiveness is found when we confess our sin to the Lord. Because of this truth, David says that those who are godly or faithful should pray to the Lord when they have the opportunity to do so. This is the idea behind the phrase "when the Lord may be found." The Hebrew reads "in a time of finding." God wants us to seek Him out. By seeking the Lord and getting our lives right and staying close to the Lord, we can avert the flood waters of judgment.

God does not want us to linger in disobedience and have a cold, hard, unteachable heart. Yet, so many Christians are in this condition. There are many Christians today that have been far from God for years because they just won't get right with God. They love their sin too much or are too stubborn to submit to the Savior and then they wonder why they are so miserable and their lives are such a mess. Repentance demands urgency, not unconcern or apathy. If you want to enjoy the delight of deliverance, then deal with your disobedience daily when you get out of line with the Lord.

Isaiah 55:6-7—... Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: [7] Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

2 Corinthians 6:2—(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Pastor Tim Wilson shared this story from his training in the U.S. Army. He said: Sitting on the hard, wooden bleachers at Fort Benning while attending the United States Army Airborne School, we prepared for our first parachute jump. Soon we would soar hundreds of feet above the red Georgia clay and hear the jump-master bark out the orders, "Stand up! Hook up! Check equipment! Stand in the door! Go! Go! Go!"

Understandably, the instructors had our undivided attention. The Airborne sergeant's voice rang out confidently as he slowly and loudly explained what to do in case of a parachute malfunction. "If your main parachute should fail to deploy, don't panic! Pull the handle of your auxiliary parachute. Should your auxiliary parachute fail to fill with air, don't panic! Pull it in toward your body and then vigorously throw it away from yourself. Should your auxiliary chute again fail to deploy and fill with air, don't panic, vigorously repeat this process." He paused dramatically and looked intently into our eyes. Then with a slight mischievous grin he slowly stated, "Should this also fail, don't panic! You'll have the rest of your life to get your parachute to deploy."

Beloved, if you are falling away from God, don't take the rest of your life to get right with Him. Get right with the Lord today. The opportunities to live your life for the Lord may not be as long as you think. The rest of your life may be what happens to you today.

James 4:14-15—... Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. [15] For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

V. THE BLESSINGS FROM REPENTANCE—32:7-8

When we get our lives right with the Lord, we enjoy the delight of deliverance. Part of that delight comes from having security and safety in the Lord. In verses three and four, David was hiding from God, and now he is hiding in God. God is our hiding place. Rock of Ages, cleft for me. Let me hide, myself in Thee. When I was a kid, I had several hiding places. One place was in the woods, another in the loft of our garage. Those places were peaceful places. They were enjoyable and fun places to visit. When God is our hiding place, we can enjoy His peace, fun, closeness, and security. We have made Him our shelter. Our hope is in Him.

Psalm 119:114—Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.

Psalm 91:1—He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

On January 31st, 1995, Linda Mauck was walking with her husband in the morning. He was a dedicated pastor, faithfully serving the Lord. As they were walking, a young boy lost control of his car and ran over Linda's husband as they were walking, missing her and killing him instantly. Just like that... he was gone. Linda stated that in the days and months that followed, she kept her sanity and serenity by making the Lord her hiding place. Psalm 32:8 is one of her favorite verses. She explained that her morning Bible and prayer time became like a nest to her. She felt the embrace of the Lord in these special times and felt she could tell Him anything. His comfort was real and powerful and helped her to overcome her pain, hurt, and grief. She is now married to one of our deacons, John Leitermann, who also lost his wife. Both of them are a blessing to me and our church family because they both have learned to make the Lord their hiding place.

When the Lord is our hiding place, He preserves us from trouble. This word "preserve" is from the Hebrew word natsar {naw-tsar'} which means "to guard, to watch over, to keep or protect." Thank God for His protection and care for us. He guards us against "trouble." This word is from the Hebrew word tsar {tsar} which means "distress, adversaries, affliction, narrow or tight."

When we make the Lord our hiding place, He keeps us from the stress and narrowness of being cornered, surrounded, tied up or bound, and having our back against the wall. True freedom is found in following Christ, while the pursuit to be free to live in sin leaves us bound and in tight, distressful circumstances. We lose when we pursue impurity, iniquity, immaturity, insincerity, indignity, indecency, instability, and the insanity of rebellion against God. You don't have to go through life being miserable. Make the Lord your hiding place. He will surround you with His joy and cheer, with songs of deliverance or escape. David says, "Selah or think about them apples!" Amen! That's some great stuff to think about!

David does not stop here with the blessings we enjoy when we repent. Another delight from deliverance is knowing what direction to go and what path we should follow. God promises to instruct, teach, and guide us. What are the deeper meanings behind these three verbs.

A. I will instruct you.

The word "instruct" is from the Hebrew word sakal {saw-kal'}. This word means "to give attention or insight to; to give comprehension; to prosper or have success; to consider or instruct. It is used in 63 verses of the Old Testament. Here are three verses you may be familiar with where it is used.

Psalm 119:99—I have more understanding, than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.

Proverbs 21:12—The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.

Psalm 101:2a—I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way....

When the Lord is our hiding place, He gives us insight, discernment, understanding, wisdom, comprehension, instruction, and success. I will take these things any day. How about you?

B. I will teach you.

Now the word "teach" is from the Hebrew word yarah {yaw-raw'}. It means "to throw, shoot, to cast or pour." Solomon used it in Proverbs 26:18.

Proverbs 26:18—As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, The word "casteth" is yarah.

The idea of this word is the shooting of words to a person and hitting the mark, to mold a life as metal is molded in a cast, or to water a person with wisdom just as a plant is watered to spur its growth. The words we shoot can be good or bad. Those who have a love for others will endeavor to encourage them and build them up. Folks who are bitter or wicked, shoot their venomous words at others they hate, especially those who live a godly life.

Psalm 64:2-4—... Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity: [3] Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words: [4] That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not.

What kind of arrows are you shooting? What are you teaching with your words? Are they bitter or encouraging? Do they lead people closer to Christ or do they lead others astray? God says "I will mold you and help you grow. I will be on target when it comes to giving you wisdom."

C. I will guide yo