Remission of Sin
1aOf David. A maskil.
Blessed is the one whose fault is removed,
whose sin is forgiven.
2Blessed is the man to whom the LORD imputes no guilt,
in whose spirit is no deceit.
3Because I kept silent,* my bones wasted away;
I groaned all day long.b
4For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength withered as in dry summer heat.
5Then I declared my sin to you;
my guilt I did not hide.c
I said, “I confess my transgression to the LORD,”
and you took away the guilt of my sin.
6Therefore every loyal person should pray to you
in time of distress.
Though flood waters* threaten,
they will never reach him.d
7You are my shelter; you guard me from distress;
with joyful shouts of deliverance you surround me.
8I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk,
give you counsel with my eye upon you.
9Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding;
with bit and bridle their temper is curbed,
else they will not come to you.
10Many are the sorrows of the wicked one,
but mercy surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.
11Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous;
exult, all you upright of heart.e
* [Psalm 32] An individual thanksgiving and the second of the seven Penitential Psalms (cf. Ps 6). The opening declaration—the forgiven are blessed (Ps 32:1–2)—arises from the psalmist’s own experience. At one time the psalmist was stubborn and closed, a victim of sin’s power (Ps 32:3–4), and then became open to the forgiving God (Ps 32:5–7). Sin here, as often in the Bible, is not only the personal act of rebellion against God but also the consequences of that act—frustration and waning of vitality. Having been rescued, the psalmist can teach others the joys of justice and the folly of sin (Ps 32:8–11).
* [32:3] I kept silent: did not confess the sin before God.
* [32:6] Flood waters: the untamed waters surrounding the earth, a metaphor for danger.