May 13, Psalms 32, 51, 86, 122

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Psalm 32

The Joy of Forgiveness

Of David. A Maskil.

How joyful is the one
whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered!
How joyful is a person whom
the Lord does not charge with iniquity
and in whose spirit is no deceit!

When I kept silent, my bones became brittle
from my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was drained[a]
as in the summer’s heat.Selah
Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not conceal my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the guilt of my sin.Selah

Therefore let everyone who is faithful pray to you immediately.[b]
When great floodwaters come,
they will not reach him.
You are my hiding place;
you protect me from trouble.
You surround me with joyful shouts of deliverance.Selah

I will instruct you and show you the way to go;
with my eye on you, I will give counsel.
Do not be like a horse or mule,
without understanding,
that must be controlled with bit and bridle
or else it will not come near you.

10 Many pains come to the wicked,
but the one who trusts in the Lord
will have faithful love surrounding him.
11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice,
you righteous ones;
shout for joy,
all you upright in heart.

Psalm 51

A Prayer for Restoration

For the choir director. A psalm of David, when the prophet Nathan came to him after he had gone to Bathsheba.

Be gracious to me, God,
according to your faithful love;
according to your abundant compassion,
blot out my rebellion.
Completely wash away my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I am conscious of my rebellion,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you—you alone—I have sinned
and done this evil in your sight.
So you are right when you pass sentence;
you are blameless when you judge.
Indeed, I was guilty when I was born;
I was sinful when my mother conceived me.

Surely you desire integrity in the inner self,
and you teach me wisdom deep within.
Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Turn your face away[a] from my sins
and blot out all my guilt.

10 God, create a clean heart for me
and renew a steadfast[b] spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore the joy of your salvation to me,
and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach the rebellious your ways,
and sinners will return to you.

14 Save me from the guilt of bloodshed, God—
God of my salvation—
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it;
you are not pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifice pleasing to God is[c] a broken spirit.
You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God.

18 In your good pleasure, cause Zion to prosper;
build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in righteous sacrifices,
whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Psalm 86

Lament and Petition

A prayer of David.

Listen, Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
Protect my life, for I am faithful.
You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you.
Be gracious to me, Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant’s life,
because I appeal to you, Lord.

For you, Lord, are kind and ready to forgive,
abounding in faithful love to all who call on you.
Lord, hear my prayer;
listen to my cries for mercy.
I call on you in the day of my distress,
for you will answer me.

Lord, there is no one like you among the gods,
and there are no works like yours.
All the nations you have made
will come and bow down before you, Lord,
and will honor your name.
10 For you are great and perform wonders;
you alone are God.

11 Teach me your way, Lord,
and I will live by your truth.
Give me an undivided mind to fear your name.
12 I will praise you with all my heart, Lord my God,
and will honor your name forever.
13 For your faithful love for me is great,
and you rescue my life from the depths of Sheol.

14 God, arrogant people have attacked me;
a gang of ruthless men intends to kill me.
They do not let you guide them.[a]
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger and abounding in faithful love and truth.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me.
Give your strength to your servant;
save the son of your female servant.
17 Show me a sign of your goodness;
my enemies will see and be put to shame
because you, Lord, have helped and comforted me.

Psalm 122

A Prayer for Jerusalem

A song of ascents. Of David.

I rejoiced with those who said to me,
“Let’s go to the house of the Lord.”
Our feet were standing
within your gates, Jerusalem—

Jerusalem, built as a city should be,
solidly united,
where the tribes, the Lord’s tribes, go up
to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
(This is an ordinance for Israel.)
There, thrones for judgment are placed,
thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the well-being[a] of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure;
may there be peace within your walls,
security within your fortresses.”
Because of my brothers and friends,
I will say, “May peace be in you.”[b]
Because of the house of the Lord our God,
I will pursue your prosperity.

Psalm 86 “5For you, Lord, are kind and ready to forgive, abounding in faithful love to all who call on you.”

Have you considered today that God is ready to forgive, more ready than we are to repent? There is a power of sin that holds us in bondage if we are not careful to confess it. We see this in Ps 32:3 where David wasted away from his sin with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband. In sin we distance ourselves from God and all of life’s events are colored by the sins we do… because we know that He knows (ref: Jer 29:23, Ps 44:21, 90:8). A good example of this is when Elijah comes to stay with the widow woman and her son dies. Her first response is found in 1Kings 17:18 “She said to Elijah, “Man of God, why are you here? Have you come to call attention to my iniquity so that my son is put to death?” But if we read on God raises the son back to life through Elijah. We learn here that was mercy available but she was unaware because the dread of her sin clouded all else.

Hidden sin must be dealt with because God does know and only mercy from His judgement will alleviate the problems that come from sin. When we humbly acknowledge that we have sinned against God alone as David did in Ps 51:4, & 16-17, we can then serve God anew in His righteousness. The prophet Jeremiah knew this well and tells us in Lamentations 3:21-23 that every morning we can receive His mercy.

Today confess your sins to God, receive His mercies anew, and then walk in the righteousness that His son has paid so dearly for.

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