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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 32

Smith's WritingsSmith's Writings

Verses 1-11


The blessedness of the man whose sin is forgiven, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

The full confession of sin to God, leading to forgiveness, is the leading principle of this psalm. As Christians we know that on the ground of the death of Christ - the precious blood - this principle is true whether it be eternal forgiveness in the case of a sinner drawing nigh to God, or governmental forgiveness in the case of a failing child drawing near to the Father. In the psalm, the forgiveness is strictly the governmental forgiveness of the godly remnant in Israel.

(vv. 1-2) The opening verses give the theme of the psalm - the blessedness of the man whose transgression is forgiven and whose sin is covered. The blessedness is not that there is no sin, but that it is covered - not imputed. The sin is not denied, or excused, or belittled - that would be guile; it is fully confessed.

(vv. 3-5) Verses 3 to 5 give the experiences of the psalmist by which this blessedness was reached. When the soul kept silent, refusing to confess his sins, God's hand was heavy upon him; day and night conscience gave him no rest. At length, under the pressure of God's hand, there is full confession. Sin is acknowledged to God, nothing is hid from God, with the result all is forgiven.

(vv. 6-7) The results of knowing God as a forgiving God follow. For that reason - because God is a forgiving God - the godly can ever turn to God in confidence, in a time when He can be found. There is a time coming when men will seek God but He will not be found. Today is the acceptable time when, on the ground of Christ's work, He may be found. But grace rejected will lead to judgment, when God will be no longer found of men, but men will be found out by God.

Turning in confidence to God the psalmist realizes how safe he is even though surrounded by enemies and difficulties like a flood of great waters. Acquainted with God as a forgiving God he confides in God and finds Him to be One that shelters from the storm, preserves from trouble, and gives “songs of deliverance.”

(vv. 8-11) Furthermore the one that prays to God finds not only preservation, but guidance for the way. God guides in His way and with His eye upon us as One that is deeply interested in His people. Moreover God gives intelligence in His mind so that we should not be as the horse or mule, without understanding. They are indeed guided but with no intelligence on their part. If in the way that God would have us to tread we shall be compassed about with mercy; and uprightness of heart will lead to gladness in the Lord and joy.

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 32". "Smith's Writings". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-32.html. 1832.
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