The forgiveness of sins: what a tremendous blessing this is!


31:1-24– ‘Into Thy hand, I commit my spirit’(5). These words were spoken by Christ as, in death, He gave Himself for our sins (Luke 23:46). For Christ, there was suffering – ‘I am the scorn of all my adversaries’(11). His suffering was followed by rejoicing, the joy of the resurrection – ‘I will be glad and rejoice in Your love, for You saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place’(7-8). God answered the prayer of His Son – He brought Him into the ‘spacious place’ of the resurrection, the ‘spacious place’ which is, for us, ‘eternal salvation’(Hebrews 5:7-9). We look to the crucified Christ and we say, ‘Praise be to the Lord, for He showed His wonderful love to me’(21). In the risen Christ, we are ‘strong and our hearts take courage’(24).

32:1-11– The forgiveness of sins – what a tremendous blessing this is (1-2). We receive God’s forgiveness when we confess our sins to Him. This is the Psalmist’s testimony: ‘I made my sins known to You, and I did not cover up my guilt. I decided to confess them to You, O Lord. Then You forgave all my sins’(5). This is the promise of God: ‘If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness’(1 John 1:9). Knowing that our sins have been forgiven by God, we can face our many trying times with confidence in Him: ‘You are my hiding place. You always fill my heart with songs of deliverance whenever I am afraid. I will trust in You, I will trust in You. Let the weak say, “I am strong in the strength of my God”’(7; Mission Praise, 793).

33:1-22– ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous’(1). We have plenty of good reasons for rejoicing in the Lord. He opens His heart to us, making known ‘the thoughts of His heart to all generations’(11). In His heart, there is love for us – ‘the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord’(5). He speaks to us of His love. Listening to His voice of love, our joy increases as we learn to trust in His Word – ‘the Word of the Lord is right and true’- and rest in His faithfulness – ‘He is faithful in all He does’(4). We have good cause to say, ‘Our heart is glad in Him’(20). Think of God’s love – His heart of love, His purpose of love, His Word of love. Let His love touch your heart and change your life. May His love cause each of us to pray from the heart: ‘May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord’(22).

34:1-22– Looking to the Lord, we are ‘radiant’ He has ‘delivered’ us. He has ‘saved’ us (4-6). Rejoicing in God’s salvation, we say, ‘I will bless the Lord at all times’(1). We call upon others to worship the Lord with us – ‘O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His Name together!’(3). We invite them to trust in the Lord and come to know the joy of His salvation – ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good! Happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!’(8). We encourage them to keep on hearing the Word of the Lord so that they may learn to walk with God – ‘Come, O sons, listen to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord’(11). We seek to lead people on to spiritual maturity. We say to them, ‘Depart from evil, and do good’, praying that they will become ‘mature’, ‘trained by practice to know the difference between good and evil’(14; Hebrews 5:14).

35:1-28– The Psalmist prays, ‘Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me!’(1). Jesus says, ‘In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world’(John 16:33). Paul rejoices in the Lord`s victory – ‘If God be for us, who can be against us?’(Romans 8:31). How do we know that God is for us? How do we know that the victory is ours in Christ? We read the words of John 3:16 – ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…’- and we say, with the Psalmist, ‘Then my soul shall rejoice in the Lord, exulting in His deliverance’(9). We read the words of 1 Corinthians 15:57 – ‘Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ’- and we say, with the Psalmist, ‘I will thank Thee…I will praise Thee…all the day long’(18,2,8).

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