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Psalm 32 – Confession & Deliverance

January 6, 2010

I was reading Psalm 32 today. In that Psalm, David talks about how sick he was (literally) due to keeping his sin a secret. I don’t know what particular sin it was and I really don’t think it matters. Verse 5 says that when he acknowledged his sin to Yahweh and stopped concealing his guilt…then he was forgiven.

There is a definite connection made here between sickness and sin. Now that is NOT to say that all sickness is due to unconfessed sin. Sickness can come from many things and this is just one of them. Hiding out from G-d can literally make us sick. Oftentimes it is only a soul sickness, but it can be physical sickness, too.

David goes on to say that all the faithful should pray what he did…which is “I will confess my offenses to Yahweh.” Keeping a clean slate between us and G-d protects us. He says that, if we pray like that, then…when the floodwaters are raging…they will not reach us. What does he mean by that? There are many times I have been very distressed in my life. So what was happening? I think some of the key to that is in the next verse. “You are a hiding place for me, you will keep me from distress; you will surround me with songs of deliverance.”

Sometimes troubles seem to come like floodwaters threatening to overwhelm us. David makes it clear that the floodwaters WILL come…they just won’t reach us. Looking around, I see troubles and I see how they do affect the people of Yahweh. I have been very effected myself. However, as I wrote in a previous post, the righteous are not always kept FROM suffering. They are oftentimes preserved through it or protected within it. So what does it mean to “keep me from distress”?

Again…these are just my thoughts and how I see things play out in my own life. It is comforting to think of my Abba as a hiding place…as a place to run for comfort in the storm of raging waters. He is the place where my heart can hide so that the raging floodwaters do not destroy me. Keeping me from distress speaks to me of preserving me.

I cannot change the things that effect me (like PTSD), but I can trust in the One who allows them to effect me. I can run to Him for my hiding place. Although I am outwordly effected, my heart and soul are preserved. I can allow myself to hear those songs of deliverance surrounding me…knowing that all things DO come to an end. Some translations say “shouts” of deliverance. That makes me think of how we rejoice with one another when someone is delivered. There is celebration in the shouting and singing.

When I look at my own life, though, I see times when my heart was very distressed. I loved G-d…so what was happening? Well, I  see a correlation between the next verse and how things have distressed me in the past…and whether or not they distress me now. I want to make it clear that being effected by something and being distressed by it are two different things. I can be very effected by PTSD…yet not allow it to distress me.

So…what was the difference in my life when things would totally distress me and now when they don’t? I think the key in is the next verse: “I will instruct you in this way that you should go; I will give you counsel; my eyes will be watching you.” I have always loved the L-rd and tried to serve Him. However, that is a learning process. I was not raised in many of His ways. Oh, I went to “church” and all, but I was not properly instructed. Yet…He did teach me and lead me. It is comforting to know that His eye was always watching…and I have seen evidence of that going way back.

The more I learned His ways…the more I learned to trust…the easier it became to not allow things to distress me so much. Sure…things were hard…but not as distressing. I learned more about His having a plan and a purpose for all things. I learned that nothing happens that is not either caused by Him or allowed by Him. I learned not to fear.

Fear, for me, was my biggest distress causer. Another word for it is “worry”. I used to worry about this and that. I was afraid for my children and afraid for myself. I had to learn to let things go…into His faithful hands. Am I totally free from that battle now? No. However, it is rare that I go through any real distress and when I do I am able to get back out of it fairly quickly.

I am very effected by our living situation…but I can choose to allow the situation to cause me distress or not. There was a time in my life when I could not have written that. Rather than fending off distress now and again…I would have been swallowed by it.

The next verse warns about not being difficult to lead. We are not to be like the horse or mule…without understanding and needing to curbed with bit and bridle.

It is the last two verses, however, that really say it for me:  “Many are the torments of the wicked, but grace surrounds those who trust in Yahweh. Be glad in Yahweh; rejoice, you righteous! Shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” I see not trusting in Yahweh as a form of wickedness. I know…we don’t typically think of it that way. We think of wickedness as things like murder, etc. However, to Yahweh…sin is sin. Worry is a sin. Why? Because in my worry I am basically calling G-d a liar! I am saying that He is not to be trusted and that He does not understand or really know what is going on. All of those things are untrue!! When I am not trusting in Him…I am sinning…and therefore I am wicked.

What surrounds those who trust in Yahweh? Grace!! It is His grace that keeps me from distress. I run to Him and lean on Him and choose to trust Him. He enables me to trust Him because I have made the choice to trust. In other words, He honors my decision to trust even when I am clueless as to what is going on. He honors that decision by enabling me to walk in it.

Rejoicing is for the upright in heart. Does that mean the “perfect”? Not at all! It means that we are in right standing with G-d. It goes back to what David wrote earlier about confessing. He was in distress when he tried to conceal his guilt from G-d. When he confessed the distress went away. He knew he could trust in Yahweh for forgiveness. He knew he could trust in Yahweh to protect him from distress.

I have much still to learn in this area. However, the one key thing that is underneath it all is trust! I will choose to continue to trust Him…no matter what my situation may bring!

I hope this is making sense. I have been interrupted so many times in writing this and I really need to move on to something else. I hope you are blessed today!

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