The Blessedness of Forgiveness


by Wayne S. Walker

     "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered" (Psalm 32:1).  David had sinned.  He coveted his neighbor’s wife, committed adultery with her, bore false witness to her husband Uriah, had Uriah murdered to cover up his sin, and thus stole another man’s wife (see 2 Samuel 11:1-27).  A truly sordid affair!  David thought that he had successfully disposed of the matter and covered it up by himself so that no one knew, but God knew all about it and God was not pleased!   Yet God still loved David and sent the prophet Nathan to convict David of his sin, so David repented and was forgiven (see 2 Samuel 12:1-13).  When God forgave him, then the sin was truly covered.

     All of us have sinned (Romans 3:23).  That includes me (1 John 1:8).  Even though David thought that he had hidden his sin from everyone else, he himself still knew about it.  "When I kept silent, my bones grew old" (Psalm 32:3).  While many of my sins may be hidden from the eyes of others, I am still painfully aware of them and have two choices in dealing with them.  I can try to hide them myself by just ignoring them and pretending that they do not exist.  "He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).  Or I can confess and forsake them as godly sorrow leads me to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10).  When I do this, then I can have the assurance that "He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

     Throughout the rest of his life, David must have remembered his sin.  I also will always remember some of the evil things that I have done.  How can I ever be happy with that knowledge?  "…He who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him.  Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous…" (Psalm 32:10-11).  Paul quotes from this Psalm to extol the blessedness of forgiveness (see Romans 4:6-8).  I may remember my sin, but like the beloved apostle, I can be thankful that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15).  I may remember my sin, but as the hymnwriter reminds me, "My heart is singing a glad new song Since Christ redeemed me from sin and wrong; To Him forever shall praise belong: When God forgives, He forgets" (Haldor Lillenas).  Certainly God’s promise is blessed, "Their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more" (Hebrews 8:12).  


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