The confession in Psalm 32 does not strike the modern ear in the same way that it would have the ancient Hebrew’s
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my inquiry.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord – and you forgave the guilt of my sin. (v 5)
Our evangelical heritage has trained us to be confessors, to turn our sin over to God for judgment only to receive grace. This is an act filled with danger as we can easily begin to take that grace for granted. Perhaps the next verse should make its way into our journals and our hearts;
Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise they will not reach him. (v 6)
The ominous caution—while you may be found—warns against taking the privilege of confession too lightly. We can slip into a mindset that the all-aware God already knows of our transgressions and has addressed them forthwith. In taking this attitude however, we miss an important component of the confession in the humbling that comes with kneeling before the Judge and confessing. The act of lowering one’s head in respect of God’s lordship is in itself an act of trust that our survival instinct rebels against. To take our eyes off of the One who could potentially take all from us including our lives requires a deep faith in the anticipated outcome.
Better in the future to not risk the heavy hand of God, as Yahweh Himself teaches,
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.
Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. (vv 8-9)
Trust in the grace of the Lord but do not test its boundaries.
Photo by Wstryder