Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Psalm 32:2 - Honest to God

Psalm 32:2 - How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit!

In verse one, David referred to human sinfulness in two ways:

~Transgressions - Heb. PESHA - deliberate acts of crossing the line and breaking the commandment of God, acts of rebellion. These are "forgiven," i.e. lifted from us and carried away.
~sins - Heb. CHATA'AH - the more general word for sins, often described as "missing the mark." We commit sins because we are unable to attain to God's standard. These are "covered," i.e. hidden by God.

Now David adds a third concept to the description of our sinfulness:

~Iniquity - Heb. AVON - perversity, depravity. It comes from a word that means "to twist, to distort, to bend, to pervert." Iniquity describes the depraved sinful nature of fallen man. This goes beyond what we do and reaches to the very core of what we are. We are not as God originally created us. We have become a twisted version of it. We no longer bear the image of God, but we can bear that image. We are still human, but we are not good. In the New Testament the word "iniquity" is often translated as "lawlessness." It implies that there is no principle of restraint in us. In our natural state, we can only sin.
How does God deal with our innate evil when he forgives us? He simply "does not impute" it. This means He does not think of it, does not charge us with it, does not take it into account. It is the blessed "unremembrance" of God, wherein He deliberately removes the thought of our sin from His mind. He replaces thoughts of our depravity with thoughts of Christ's righteousness.
Think of it! In Christ, God does not think of us in terms of sin anymore. Instead, He thinks of us in terms of righteousness. This is Paul's point in Romans 4, where he quotes Psalm 32:1-2 ...

Romans 4:6-8 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: "BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED. "BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT."

So God no longer views us in terms of our depravity. Instead, He sees us as righteous. But the righteousness is not from us, it's all Christ's. It's revealed in the cross, proved in the resurrection, and it comes to us by grace alone, through faith alone.
David adds one final note to our blessedness, and this is the part that makes all the difference in our daily experience. He declares the person blessed "in whose spirit there is no deceit." The word translated "deceit" implies both negligence and deception. Because of our depraved nature, we typically don't take sin seriously. We ignore it, let it go, pretend it isn't there. We deceive ourselves and present a false image to others. Worst of all, we lie to God by failing to confess our sin to Him. After walking this hard and bitter road, David learned that this course is both dangerous and destructive - it's described in verses 3 and 4.
All the blessings of forgiveness and mercy are available to us, but without the faith that honestly confesses sin to God we cannot know them as present realities. David's earnest repentance calls us to rip the cover off of our hearts before God and make ourselves known to Him - exactly as we are. In the open confession of sin, you will discover a marvelous response from God. As you mourn over sin, God Himself will comfort you. As you declare your spiritual poverty, God Himself will enrich you. As you fall down broken before Him, He will heal and restore your soul. This is the blessedness known only to those who humbly remove all the deceit from their spirit by telling God the truth about themselves.


  1. WoW!! What a great God he is, What a true blessedness to know this freedom!

  2. Amen, my friend. And Psalm 32 gets even better as it goes along.

    David's experience of sin and repentance is probably the most public in all of history. God recorded the details for our encouragement because He knew we would need it.


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