Thursday, March 12, 2009

Psalm 32

We learned the version of Psalm 32 found in the Book of Psalms for Singing in preparation for Ash Wednesday this year. My congregation can now sing versions of all 7 penitential Psalms.
The progression within the Psalm from suffering to shouting for joy is remarkable. The Psalm seems to be about how humans deal with sin. The first verses don't even leave room for humans who don't sin. "Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven," not "Blessed is the one who never transgresses." We all sin, but the Psalm says that when we confess our sin to God and forsake it, God will bless us and give us joy.

Psalm 32

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the
Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up
as by the heat of summer. Selah

I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Therefore let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
they shall not reach him.
You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
or it will not stay near you.

Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the
Be glad in the
Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!