Psalm 32: A Psalm of Confession and Absolution

(11 Verses, 2:00 to read)


What I am about to READ

  • Psalm 32 is one of the seven penitential psalms.  Among the blessed are those who are forgiven, whose sin is covered.


  • Notice the effect of sin even on the body – “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away.”  The psalmist clearly knows his sin, for he restrains his confession to God.  Unconfessed sin can waste away soul and body so that one becomes melancholy and physically ill.  God uses the “heavy hand” of the law to convict sinners to make them turn to his mercy and forgiveness.
  • Verse 5 clearly teaches justification by faith alone.  One confesses his sin, trusting that his sin will be forgiven by the mercy of God, and his iniquity will be forgiven him. This is as Luther says in the small catechism “for where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.” Indeed, as verse 10 says “steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.”
  • God is described as a hiding place and a preserver from trouble in verse 7.  He can and does do this bodily for his saints as he did for Israel and for his Church as he sends his angels to minister to them. But in the context of this psalm, God’s hiding place and preservation is promulgated through faithful preaching of the law and the comfort of the gospel.  That is a true hiding place for both soul and body.
    Lord God, you have sent the heavy hand of your law upon me, my strength is dried up.  I can no longer stand by my own righteousness.  Let me go and hear the voice of your undershepherd who declares to me that my sins are forgiven for the sake of your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.


Pr. Ross

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