I am so excited for us to begin 2020 by journeying through 1 John together. We began the journey last week and were reminded of John’s purpose in writing: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13) This week, we’ll see how John begins to build a case for our assurance of salvation as he describes for us what it looks like to walk in the light. However, John’s description of walking in the light and the joy to be found there is not a new concept in Scripture. King David wrote (or sung) about it in Psalm 32.
Wednesday, January 8th
Passage for Reflection - Psalm 32
Reflecting on the Text:
“Blessed is the one….” This is how Psalm 32 begins. David then goes on to describe why this “one” is blessed. He is blessed first and foremost because of something the Lord has done for him. The Lord has forgiven his sin. The Lord counts no iniquity against him. But then, David goes on to describe the one who is blessed in terms of one of his character traits: there is no deceit in his spirit. In other words, this man is blessed (partially) because he is an open book before the Lord.
Have you ever known the pain of living with a secret? Do you know that pain now? Are you worried in every conversation that you will be found out? Do you carry that worry like a heavy load around your shoulders, experiencing even physical pain as a result? David knew this kind of pain. He knew what it was like to live with a secret sin and he described it in terms of his bones wasting away. During this time of hiding, David experienced the opposite of blessing. He experienced anguish. But in time, the Lord brought him to the point of confession, and the storyline of the psalm changed.
In verse 5, David describes the turn. He acknowledged his sin to the Lord. He came out of hiding. He let go of deceit. And the Lord graciously, mercifully forgave him. From that point on, the song is one of openness and joy. David desires to teach others from his experience, to point them to the mercy of God so that they might share in his joy.
And joy is the concluding refrain! Released from the anguish which accompanied his secrecy (deceit), David now experiences the joy of forgiveness and the accompanying return to right fellowship with the Lord. And he wants you and I to know that joy as well.
It sounds so inviting, what could hold us back? It is a rhetorical question, of course. You know all the reasons we hold on to secrets. But in verse 10, David gives us the reason to let go. There, he speaks of “the one who trusts in the Lord.” It takes trust to share what we’ve hidden down deep. It takes trust to confess the ugliness of our sin. But the Lord our God is the God of steadfast love and faithfulness. He is the One who invites our confession, because in the person of Jesus Christ, He has made provision for our sin. He does not pronounce forgiveness begrudgingly. Instead, He covers our sin, casts it away, and remembers it no more.
Again, what holds you back? Is it a lack of recognition of your own sin? Is it an unwillingness to acknowledge that you are in fact a sinner? Or, is it a fear that no one would love you if they really knew you? Friend, our God knows. And our God has loved enough to send Jesus to save sinners like you and me. Trusting in Him, let us be a people who walk in the light and confess our sins before the Lord.
“Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart”
Questions for personal reflection:
Are you holding on to secret sin? What holds you back from confessing it before the Lord and experiencing the joy of renewed fellowship with Him?
Are you experiencing separation from another person as a result of holding on to secret sin? What holds you back from confessing it before them and pursuing the blessing of gospel centered reconciliation?