Friday, August 11, 2006

Sins and Confession

Consider the first 5 verses of Psalm 32.

"Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.
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 sapped as in the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord'--and you forgave the guilt of my sin."
What strikes me is that forgiveness is extended in the OT. Even two nights ago in class someone talked about how forgiveness is new in the New Testament because they didn't have baptism in the OT. This is a common thought, especially in our heritage. In response to this comment during class, I was reminded of this passage (Psalm 32). I couldn't recall where it was, but I stumbled across it. [Total side note: Funny thing is that I should have read Psa 32 on Wed morning according to the Bible reading schedule. If I had, I would have been able to mention this when I taught class on Sunday night. That's what I get for getting behind in my reading.] sin and transgression is forgiven in OT. I even read that the guilt associated with sin is forgiven. Holy cow! How does this happen? Well, God is in the business of forgiving.

But here is what seems to happen BEFORE forgiven comes: acknowledgment of sin...confession of transgression. If this doesn't happen, we see the Psalmist (and I know this from personal experience) wasting away. His affliction was deep down to the bones. His strength was gone because of the weight of sin he was trying to carry as if he were hiding it from God.

Once we confess our sins to God, the weight of them is lifted. God is a gracious God. He will forgive. Your lack of honestly before God weighs down everything you (and myself included) can't fool God into thinking you are a good person. He knows. Confess it to him and let the healing begin.

Here is what I found in this Psalm this morning: be honest with God; even confess your sins to him or they will weigh you down so much that you are not an effective instrument for God to use.

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