The Bible – Old Testament
Of David. A maskil. 1 Happy the sinner whose fault is removed, whose sin is forgiven.
Happy those to whom the LORD imputes no guilt, in whose spirit is no deceit.
2 As long as I kept silent, my bones wasted away; I groaned all the day.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength withered as in dry summer heat. Selah
Then I declared my sin to you; my guilt I did not hide. I said, “I confess my faults to the LORD,” and you took away the guilt of my sin. Selah
3 Thus should all your faithful pray in time of distress. Though flood waters threaten, they will never reach them.
You are my shelter; from distress you keep me; with safety you ring me round. Selah
I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk, give you counsel and watch over you.
Do not be senseless like horses or mules; with bit and bridle their temper is curbed, else they will not come to you.
Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but love surrounds those who trust in the LORD.
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you just; exult, all you upright of heart.
1 [Psalm 32] An individual thanksgiving and the second of the seven Penitential Psalms (cf Psalm 6). The opening declaration – the forgiven are blessed (⇒ Psalm 32:1-2) – arises from the psalmist’s own experience. At one time the psalmist was stubborn and closed, a victim of sin’s power (⇒ Psalm 32:3-4), and then became open to the forgiving God (⇒ Psalm 32:5-7). Sin here, as often in the Bible, is not only the personal act of rebellion against God but also the consequences of that act – frustration and waning of vitality. Having been rescued, the psalmist can teach others the joys of justice and the folly of sin (⇒ Psalm 32:8-11).
2  I kept silent: did not confess the sin before God.
3  Flood waters: the untamed waters surrounding the earth, a metaphor for danger.