This Psalm is about the joy of experiencing God’s forgiveness. The passage says that forgiven people experience the refuge of God. They are surrounded by songs of God’s deliverance. They are encircled by God’s lovingkindness. But in order to experience the freedom and joy of forgiveness, we have to first confront our sin.
David, the most well-known king of Israel, at first hides his sin before bringing it to God and experiencing forgiveness. Hiding his sin causes shame to fester and pressure to build. In the Message translation, he says, “When I kept it all inside, my bones turned to powder, my words became daylong groans. The pressure never let up.” Continuing in the Message translation, when David decides to bring his sin into the light, he says, “Suddenly the pressure was gone-my guilt dissolved, my sin disappeared.”
How often do we feel this pressure building inside of us, but we’re afraid to confront the sin that’s causing it? We keep on denying it to God, others, and even ourselves. Maybe you don’t want to acknowledge your sin to God because you feel you’ve messed up one too many times. This time, you’ll just fix it yourself instead of confessing to God. Or maybe you haven’t even accepted the reality of your sin yet because you don’t want to go through the uncomfortable process of confronting that area where you feel shame. You’d rather keep on denying it.
This Psalm encourages us to stop ignoring our sin out of fear. The reality is that our hearts are full of more sin than we know. The Christian walk is not about becoming more and more perfect, but rather more and more dependent upon God’s grace. Today, that grace is found in God’s Son, Jesus, who died for our sins and rose from the grave so that we could be forgiven. We don’t just rely on this grace for salvation, but we rely on it every moment of every day.
So, ask God to convict you of the sin in your life. And confront those areas of shame, those areas where you don’t feel good enough and that you’d rather not acknowledge. Experience the reality that God’s forgiveness is not an abstract theological concept but a concrete reality for your life. Experience the liberating reality that God saw your sin and loved you so much that he died for it. Know God not just as a good teacher or philosopher but as a savior from your sins.
PRAY: God, I am sorry I have hidden my sin, neglecting to bring it to You. I confess of the times I have been motivated to trust in anything besides You. Thank you that when I confess, there is no condemnation or wrath. There is only grace and acceptance. Thank you that I can walk in freedom without the pressure and weight of my sin. Amen.
REFLECT: What is something about yourself that is difficult for you to confront? What scares you about acknowledging it? Try talking to God about it. Remember that Christ’s love and forgiveness covers every sin.