As I mentioned yesterday, these psalms have many similarities to Psalm 38.
6:1 with 38:1
32:3 with 38:3, 8, 13-14; and
32:5 with 38:18
There is also a description of David's physical condition in 6 and 32. It is believed that these Psalms may have been written at the same time as Psalm 51, but we do not know for sure.
I put Psalm 32 at the end of this group of Penitential Psalms because it is a summation of all David learned through his confession. They are the words of a man who extolled the blessedness of confession because he had gone through the painful process to forgiveness and true joy!
I think some of us think of confession as a very horrible thing, especially public confession! But David wanted to give a "Case for Confession" in Psalm 32. Confession is good. David tells us if we do not confess there are physical and emotional symptoms that are far worse than keeping silent about our sin.
Confession is simply agreeing with God as He brings things to our hearts. Here is a good delineation between allowing God to expose our sin and introspection:
When we search our own hearts it can lead to imaginations, morbid introspection, or anything the enemy may want to throw before us. But when the Holy Spirit searches He will bring to Your attention that which should be confessed and cleansed.
Lorne Sanny in "How to Spend a Day in Prayer"That is why it is imperative that we be in God's Word and allow the Holy Spirit to convict us as we spend time soaking in it. This diagram from 1 Timothy 3:16 illustrates what the Word does in our life, the Word through the Holy Spirit leads us to repentance (correction) that leads us on God's perfect path. How wonderful that we are not left to guilt and condemnation!
When we allow the Holy Spirit to "search our hearts and see if there is any hurtful way" in us, confession is a joy and delight because God's kindness leads us to repentance:
Or are you [so blind as to] trifle with and presume upon and despise and underestimate the wealth of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering patience? Are you unmindful or actually ignorant [of the fact] that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repent (to change your mind and inner man to accept God's will)? Romans 2:4It was a very hot summer day during my last day of prayer. I was in a house devoid of air-conditioning, and I was meditating on Psalm 32 when I came to David's strength being sapped "as in the heat of summer" (32:4). I had that word picture at the forefront of my mind as I sipped on cold, herbal ice teas throughout the day.
I realized how sin does sap you of all strength, but God's love and forgiveness restores and revitalizes us. In the midst of this tea sipping meditation, I wrote this crazy little song:
Your love is . . .
Like a glass of ice tea
On a hot summer day
You fill my cup
You fill me up
Sin was a drought
A hot and messy drought
You came along
You gave me this song
And poured cold water
On all my sin
Oooo Ooo Ooo
It's so cool and clear
And You are so near
Take time to meditate in these Psalms and appreciate how confession is not a humiliating experience but a freeing one.
Pray responsively through these Psalms.