No one can tell me that Scripture, though written more than two thousand years ago, is not relevant today. David's poem is both beautiful and practical. Having celebrated the faithfulness of God and acknowledged the difficulty of confession, he scolds the reader for his or her stubborn pride.
Application to Every Believer
Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,
Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,
Otherwise they will not come near to you.
Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness shall surround him.
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones;
And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart. (Psalm 32:9-11)
David summarizes all the lessons he wants to leave with us into three strong statements of exhortation.
First, don't be stubborn (32:9). When it comes to dealing with sin, don't be like a mule or any other hardheaded beast! Surrender! Keep a short account before the Lord. Don't let wrongdoing build up. Don't try to maintain a standoff any longer.
Second, make your choice (32:10). In reading over these concluding words, you'll notice two—and only two—paths: the path of the wicked, which brings "many sorrows," and the path of trust, which brings "lovingkindness." Consider the destination of each path and make your choice (says the songwriter).
Third, remain upright (32:11). Stop the downward plunge into deep, dark, convoluted, crazy-making sin by maintaining an upright walk. The Hebrew term rendered "upright" has to do with honest dealing, with God and before others. It describes someone with nothing to hide. A former colleague used to describe this kind of conduct as "clean and clear." He sought that goal with every contract, every transaction, and every decision, whether public or private.
That's a great policy. No secrets. Complete transparency. If you're looking for green pastures, you'll find them only as you deal honestly with your Lord. Remain upright. God is so gracious! He has planned a life for His children that results in inner peace, outer strength, and optimism. But we are sinful and frequently choose to walk our own way. Though He prefers that we not sin, He is willing to forgive and to guide us through our recovery and restoration. He will forgive and restore if we will completely repent; that is, confess and seek His cleansing.
From Living the Psalms by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.
In Embraced by the Spirit, we step away from the heat of theological battle that analyzes and criticizes and move quietly and closely to the One who has been sent alongside to help.