My Hiding Place

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Forgiveness is an act of mercy, not judgment. This alone makes it difficult for many of us to extend it to others. It is the opposite of our natural impulse to want justice or even revenge.

When a person is pardoned, the penalty for their wrong is removed. It means they won't suffer the full consequence of their wrong doing.

God alone is righteous enough to forgive and pardon people, and it is His nature to extend mercy to those who trust in Him.

Scripture

A psalm by David; a maskil.

Blessed is the person whose disobedience is forgiven and whose sin is pardoned. Blessed is the person whom the Lord no longer accuses of sin and who has no deceitful thoughts.

When I kept silent ⌊about my sins⌋, my bones began to weaken because of my groaning all day long. Day and night your hand laid heavily on me. My strength shriveled in the summer heat. Selah [vss 1-4]

I made my sins known to you, and I did not cover up my guilt. I decided to confess them to you, O Lord. Then you forgave all my sins. Selah

For this reason let all godly people pray to you when you may be found. Then raging floodwater will not reach them. You are my hiding place. You protect me from trouble. You surround me with joyous songs of salvation. Selah [vss 5-7]

⌊The Lord says,⌋ “I will instruct you. I will teach you the way that you should go. I will advise you as my eyes watch over you. Don’t be stubborn like a horse or mule. ⌊They need⌋ a bit and bridle in their mouth to restrain them, or they will not come near you.”

Many heartaches await wicked people, but mercy surrounds those who trust the Lord. Be glad and find joy in the Lord, you righteous people. Sing with joy, all whose motives are decent. [vss 8-12]

(Psalm 32:1-12 GW) [Context– Psalm 32]

Key phrase— Blessed is the person whose disobedience is forgiven and whose sin is pardoned

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Digging Deeper...

Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions

What is the benefit of the Lord's forgiveness and pardon of sin?

What was the result when David kept silent about his sin? What brought God's forgiveness?

How does David describe the Lord's protection and blessing in his life?

What are we exhorted to not do, and how can we be surrounded by mercy?

Reflection...

Forgiveness is an extension of kindness that can never be repaid, nor is it something that's deserved. True, genuine forgiveness is the removal of an offense, sin, or wrong-doing by someone who has the authority and right to grant it.

No one can go around pronouncing forgiveness to people unless they have the right or authority to do so. In the case of a legal conviction for a crime, only someone such as a judge or governor can release a person from their sentence.

Sin is an act or state of rebellion towards God. One person's sin may impact many people and those people can extend their personal forgiveness, but only God can suspend the sentence of eternal death, which is the consequence of rebellion against God.

This is what David experienced after his grievous sin of adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband. When he confessed his sin and cried out for mercy, the Lord forgave him and restored him (see Psalm 51)

Make it personal...

Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions

What is your experience with the Lord when you have admitted and confessed your sin to Him?

Can you relate to what David says about the effect of not being honest with God and confessing your sin?

When have you realized and known the Lord as your "hiding place"?

Do you make time each day to reconcile your heart with God—to ask forgiveness and restoration—before unconfessed sin breaks your heart and spirit?


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