(Part 20)


February 3, 2016

Today’s psalm:  Psalm 32:1-7

True mercy is an invitation to repentance. False mercy is showing compassion but leaving a person in his sin. How should we understand what really is the mercy of God?

First, the blessing is not just in receiving compassion, or understanding, or kind words, or being welcomed, or accompaniment (these are side benefits), but in being forgiven by God. “Blessed is the one whose fault is removed, whose sin is forgiven.” (v.1). That is the bottom line. That is the goal and desire of God.

Second, repentance leads to conversion and transformation in Christ. False mercy leaves a person in his sinful situation, and might even assure the sinner that what he is doing is all right. True mercy moves a sinner, beyond repentance, to holiness and purity of life. “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt, in whose spirit is no deceit.” (v.2).

Third, if a person remains in serious sin, a situation that is not of God and in fact contrary to God’s ways, if a person remains silent and does not confess his sin, then his situation will become worse. He will sink deeper into the mire and into the darkness. “Because I kept silent, my bones wasted away; I groaned all day long.” (v.3). If we are not right with God, then the soul that God has placed in us suffers, longing for liberation and restoration.

Fourth, though some sinners think their lives are great, we must know they are in great peril, not just of things like STDs and HIV/AIDS for sexual immorality and sodomy, but of eternal damnation. As their bodies weaken, their spirit also begins to dissolve. “For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength withered as in dry summer heat.” (v.4).

Fifth, there is a simple way out of the sinner’s predicament. What is the way out? How do we really experience the mercy of God? We repent and confess our sin! Then God forgives us. Then we experience God’s mercy. “Then I declared my sin to you; my guilt I did not hide. I said, ‘I confess my transgression to the Lord,’ and you took away the guilt of my sin.” (v.5).

Sixth, we must know who our merciful God truly is. He is not to be feared (not in the sense of awe), nor distrusted, nor not hoped in. He is not out there just waiting for ways to punish us as we transgress. He indeed is watching us, but so that He might care for us and guide us and lead us to salvation. “You are my shelter; you guard me from distress; with joyful shouts of deliverance you surround me.” (v.7). What a God!

Seventh, knowing the above, we must confidently approach the throne room of God. Especially when we are in trouble and sin! Only God can protect us from the tsunami of evil that is overwhelming the whole world. “Therefore every loyal person should pray to you in time of distress. Though flood waters threaten, they will never reach him.” (v.6).

“Many are the sorrows of the wicked one,

but mercy surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.”

(Ps 32:10)

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