David: The Song of a Soul Set Free
Part 2 continued from June 23rd
David is so thankful for his sin being forgiven, he uses four different Hebrew words for sin in Psalm 32.
Sin is such an offense to God that He has to use 15 different words in the Hebrew Old Testament just to describe it. Four of them are here in David’s song. When David stole his neighbor Uriah’s little ewe lamb for his already overflowing banqueting table he defied the rules God had laid down. David now sees his life as God saw him. God was displeased with David because of these four areas of his life.
1. Resisting or defying God’s rule is sin. Transgression [Hebrew peshah]: 'a going away', 'departure', passing over a boundary, doing what is prohibited, or 'rebellion' against God and his authority. This is a picture of a relationship with God that is rebelled against. OUR TRANSGRESSIONS MUST BE PULLED OFF: “Forgiven” means literally to have our sin lifted off. nesui, borne away, i.e., by a vicarious sacrifice; for bearing sin, or bearing away sin, always implies this. As Pilgrim it rolls off and into Christ's tomb. "My sin oh the bliss . . .". We are being crushed by any sins we keep around. They suffocate, smother and squish the very life of our soul. But there is a Redeemer who can set us free. And to his only hope, David fled. God cleansed David’s Sin that smothers: now they were forgiven “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven”
2. Falling short of perfection or missing God's mark is Sin. [Hebrew chattath] is same as hamartia in Greek 'coming short' or 'falling short' as in an arrow falling short. The target is God's law and sin is missing the mark on the target. This is a picture of failing to measure up to God's Divine Law. chataah, must be covered, kesui, hidden from the sight. It is odious and abominable, and must be put out of sight. Whose sin is covered. “Covered by God, as the ark was covered by the mercy-seat, as Noah was covered from the flood, as the Egyptians were covered by the depths of the sea. What a cover must that be which hides away forever from the sight of the all-seeing God all the filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit!” (Spurgeon) WE MUST BE SHEILDED FROM OUR SINS: “Covered” speaks of the strong imagery in the events of the day of atonement. On that day the High priest took the blood of an animal and sprinkled it onto the mercy seat. Above the mercy seat was the presence of God portrayed by the outstretched arms of the cherubim. Beneath the lid of the ark was the tablets portraying God's divine law. In essence, the blood stood between a holy God and the sinners who broke His law, averting His wrath. David cried for joy when the wrath of God was turned away from him. So our sins are covered away by the blood of Jesus shed for us! God cleansed David’s Sin that soils: now they were covered by the cleansing blood. “Whose sin is covered”.
3. Defacing or distorting God's image is sin. Iniquity [Hebrew hawon] means 'corrupt' or 'twisted' or 'crooked'. This word pictures what sin does to us inside as it warps and ruins us. So it must not be reckoned to his account. THE LEDGER OF OUR WAYWARDNESS CLEARED OUT: “Not Counted” speaks of a list of debts no longer held against us. David had become utterly bankrupted by his sin. The bills were piling up, mounting like a flood and drowning him. Desire, deceit, cruel deception, cunning craftiness and shameless murder all charged heavy debts to his soul. And now in sheer delight all the mountain of impossible debt is cleared from the ledger. “My sins are gone, and shall not be remembered, God in mercy tenderly forgives.” God cleansed David’s Sin that steals: now they were not imputed to his account as debts. “2 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity” Note that the three words so often used to denote our disobedience—transgression, sin, and iniquity—are the three-headed dog at the gates of hell, but our glorious Lord has silenced its barkings forever against his own believing ones. The trinity of sin is ovecome by the Trinity of heaven. Non-imputation is of the very essence of pardon: the believer sins, but his sin is not reckoned, not accounted to him. Certain divines froth at the mouth with rage against imputed righteousness; be it ours to see our sin not imputed, and to us may there be as Paul words it, “Righteousness imputed without works.” He is blessed indeed who has a substitute to stand for him to whose account all his debts may be set down” (Spurgeon)
4. Deceiving God's people by a life of hypocrisy is sin. David says “guile” [Hebrew remeeyaw] and he means it. He was hunted down by the Holy Spirit, haunted by his own conscience through the night watches, but haughty and “business as usual” in the daytime. DECEIVING God's PEOPLE IS SIN. David says “guile” and he means it. He was hunted down by the Holy Spirit, haunted by his own conscience through the night watches, but haughty and “business as usual” in the daytime. Guile, remiyah. The fourth signifies fraud, deceit, guile, etc. To remove these evils, three acts are mentioned: forgiving, covering, and not imputing. G uile, remiyah, must be annihilated from the soul: In whose spirit there is no guile. God cleansed David’s Sin that slithers: now there was no guile. “And in whose spirit there is no deceit.”
The man whose transgression is forgiven; whose sin is hidden, God having cast it as a millstone into the depths of the sea; whose iniquity and perversion is not reckoned to his account; and whose guile, the deceitful and desperately wicked heart, is annihilated, being emptied of sin and filled with righteousness, is necessarily a happy man.
By nature God is forgiving. The Old Testament abounds with teachings about His forgiveness.
· David declared, “For Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon Thee” (Ps. 86:5).
· In another psalm he reminds us that God pardons all our iniquities. Psalm 103:3,12 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
· Daniel said, “To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness” (Dan. 9:9).
· God described Himself to Moses as, “the Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin” (Ex. 34:6–7).
· Micah extolled the Lord, saying, Micah 7:18–19 Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy. 19 He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea.
That is the essence of the gospel: God’s divine and gracious provision for the forgiveness of man’s sin. In Christ, Paul says, “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7; cf.Col. 1:14). John assures us that, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” and that our “sins are forgiven [us] for His name’s sake” (1 John 1:9; 2:12).
No matter how severe the sin, God can forgive it. The worst conceivable sin would be to kill God’s own Son-and that while He was on earth for the very purpose of providing salvation from sin and the way to everlasting life. Nothing could possibly be more heinous, vicious, and wicked than that. And, of course, killing Him is exactly what men did to the Son of God. Yet, while hanging on the cross and about to die, Jesus prayed and affirmed the forgiving mercy available to His executioners, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
· The degree of sin does not forfeit forgiveness, because even killing the Son of God was forgivable.
· Nor does the volume of sin end the possibility of mercy. A seventy-year-old profligate who has lived a life of debauchery, stealing, lying, profanity, blasphemy, and immorality is just as forgivable as a seven-year-old who has done nothing worse than normal childhood haughtiness.
· Nor does the particular kind of sin cancel grace. In Scripture we find God forgiving idolatry, murder, gluttony, fornication, adultery, cheating, lying, homosexuality, covenant breaking, blasphemy, drunkenness, extortion, and every other kind of sin imaginable. He forgives self-righteousness, which is the deceiving sin of thinking that one has no sin. He even forgives the sin of rejecting Christ; otherwise no one could be saved, because before salvation everyone, to some degree, is a Christ rejecter. There is no forgiveness of even the smallest sin unless it is confessed and repented of; but there is forgiveness of even the greatest sin if those divine conditions are met.
These three paragraphs are quoted from MacArthur, J. 2000. The Murder of Jesus : A study of how Jesus died. Includes index. Word Pub.:
§ God cleansed David’s Sin that smothers: now they were forgiven “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven” My sins no longer smother me.
§ God cleansed David’s Sin that soils: now they were covered by the cleansing blood. “Whose sin is covered” He was no longer covered by his sin, he was covered by the Blood.
§ God cleansed David’s Sin that had stolen his blessing: now they were not imputed to his account as debts. “2 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity” And finally at the end of verse 2-
§ God cleansed David’s Sin that slithers: now there was no guile. “And in whose spirit there is no deceit.” God cleansed David’s sin that made him slither around in deceitfulness- he says there is no more of that. Look at verse 3-
Read the conclusion to this sermon on June 25th.
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