Psalm 32 is only eleven verses long, yet Selah—a call to pause and ponder—is used three times. In other words, David is very interested in getting us to weigh something important. This whole psalm is a call to ponder the heavy, unbearable burden of unconfessed sins vs. the freedom and fresh start that comes immediately with confession.
And in case you think that confession is just something that someone does one time when they become a Christian, keep in mind that David is writing this song to be sung by the choir in church. That means confession is good for everyone!
The weighty CURSES of unconfessed sin
- I feel worn out, wasting away like old, flimsy clothes (v. 3a)
- I am groaning (v. 3b)—I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears (Psalm 6:6)
- I feel God’s hand of displeasure heavy upon me (v. 4a AMP)
- My strength evaporates like water in the summer heat (v. 4b NLT)
- I’m led around like a dumb mule (v. 9)
- I experience many woes (v. 10a)
Then comes confession—I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord continually unfolding the past till all is told”—then You instantly forgave me the guilt and iniquity of my sin (v. 5 AMP).
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-9).
The weighty BLESSINGS after confessed sin
- My transgressions are forgiven, which means they are lifted up and carried away (v. 1a)
- My sins are covered; they are literally overwhelmed by God’s forgiveness (v. 1b)
- My sin is no longer counted against me (v. 2a) because my record of forgiven sins has been cleared (v. 2b NLT; see also Psalm 103:2-3, 12)
- I get a fresh start, my slate’s wiped clean … Suddenly the pressure was gone—my guilt dissolved, my sin disappeared (vv. 1, 5 MSG)
- I’m protected in God’s hiding place and surrounded by God’s songs (vv. 7, 10b)
- God instructs me and protects me to keep me from sinning again (v. 8)
What relief for those who have confessed their sins and God has cleared their record (v. 2 TLB)
The mark of a maturing Christian is the one who is constantly closing the gap between sin and confession.
Don’t let unconfessed sin weigh you down. As soon as you feel the Holy Spirit pointing something out in your heart, confess it and experience God’s immediate release!
I am going to share one more message in this series on the Selahs in the Psalms this Sunday (but, God willing, we will return to this next summer). Please join me either in person or on Facebook Live.