The Joy of Forgiveness
Of David. A Maskil.
1 Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2 Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 While I kept silence, my body wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
6 Therefore let all who are faithful
offer prayer to you;
at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters
shall not reach them.
7 You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah
8 I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9 Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,
else it will not stay near you.
10 Many are the torments of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the LORD.
11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
-The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 32). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
One of my favorite stories I heard about my dad was the time he bought vinyl shoes. Apparently they were very comfortable, and he was so excited about them. By the end of the day though, his feet felt like they were on fire because the shoes did not allow his feet to breathe.
That is how our souls can get if we cover ourselves up with too much shiny, plastic faith. It looks good on the outside, but inside, we are burning up and suffocating. This is also how David described his life when he was covering up his sin.
Dad went home, got a pocket knife, and began to cut holes in those shoes. It didn’t look so good anymore, and they did not last long – but at least his feet could breathe again. David also found relief in acknowledging his sin to God. In those days, acknowledging sin meant more than just going off into a dark, quiet room, and whispering to God that you were sorry. It meant repenting of that sin and seeking to restore or heal whatever damage had been done. Then, you had to bring a sacrifice to the Temple in public. While everyone may not know what sin you specifically committed, they would know you had done something wrong. Like going up to the altar for prayer during a church service – everyone saw you.
Confession brought David relief. Instead of worrying about what people were saying about him, he celebrated God’s love and vowed to share this love and way of life with others.
What do you need to air out today?
Is it time to cut some breathing holes or is it time to get some new shoes?