The Joy of Forgiveness
Of David. A Maskil.
Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
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
Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them. You are a hiding-place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah
I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. 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.
Many are the torments of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
Reflection by Duke Yaguchi
Let me begin with a couple of footnotes. Of David a Maskil means a skillful poetic or didactic psalm of David. The Selah remark is a musical notation, so it may have been that this psalm was meant to be sung.
This psalm contains three progressive messages. First that guilt from sin can be very debilitating. We've all experienced this. We do something wrong, and we replay it in our minds over and over again. Even if we try to forget the past, it creeps into our subconscious ever so quietly. It festers like an old wound. It never really goes away.
Second, forgiveness of sin can be very uplifting. If we can acknowledge our forgiveness from God, we can shed the yolk of thi