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Psalm 32 by Alexander Maclaren

Psalm 32 by Alexander Maclaren

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
PSALM XXXII.

1 Blessed he whose transgression is taken away, whose sin is

covered,
PSALM XXXII.

1 Blessed he whose transgression is taken away, whose sin is

covered,

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 20, 2013
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PSALM 32 BY ALEXADER MACLAREPSALM XXXII.1 Blessed he whose transgression is taken away, whose sin iscovered,2 Blessed the man to whom Jehovah reckons not iniquity,In whose spirit is no guile.3 When I kept silence, my bones rotted away,Through my roaring all the day.4 For day and night Thy hand weighed heavily upon me ;My sap was turned [as] in droughts of summer. Selah.5 My sin I acknowledged to Thee, and my iniquity I covered not ;I said, I will confess because of my transgressions to Jehovah,And Thou — Thou didst take away the iniquity of my sin. Selah6 Because of this let every one beloved [of Thee] pray to Thee in atime of finding ;Surely when great waters are in flood, to him they shall not reach.7 Thou art a shelter for me ; from trouble wilt Thou preserve me,[With] shouts of deliverance wilt encircle me. Selah.8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shouldestgo;I will counsel thee, [with] mine eye upon thee.9 Be not ye like horse, like mule, without understanding,Whose harness to hold them in is bit and bridle,Else no coming near to thee,io The wicked has many sorrows,
 
And he who trusts in Jehovah — with loving-kindness will Heencircle him.1 1 Rejoice in Jehovah, and exult, ye righteous ;And shout joyfully, all ye upright of heart.OE must have a dull ear not to hear the voice of personal experience in this psalm. It throbswith emotion, and is a burst of rapture from a hearttasting the sweetness of the new joy of forgiveness,30axxxii.] THE PSALMS. 303It is hard to believe that the speaker is but a personi-fication of the nation, and the difficulty is recognisedby Cheyne's concession that we have here " principally,though not exclusively, a national psalm." The oldopinion that it records David's experience in the dark time when, for a whole year, he lived impenitent afterhis great sin of sense, and was then broken downby athan's message and restored to peace throughpardon following swiftly on penitence, is still defensible,and gives a fit setting for this gem. Whoever wasthe singer, his song goes deep down to permanentrealities in conscience and in men's relations to God,and therefore is not for an age, but for all time.Across the dim waste of years, we hear this manspeaking our sins, our penitence, our joy; and theantique words are as fresh, and fit as close to ourexperiences, as if they had been welled up from aliving heart to-day. The theme is the way of forgive-ness and its blessedness ; and this is set forth in twoparts: the first (w. 1-5) a leaf from the psalmist'sautobiography, the second (ver. 6 to end) the generali-sation of individual experience and its application to
 
others. In each part the prevailing division of versesis into strophes of two, each containing two members,but with some irregularity.The page from the psalmist's confessions (w. 1-5)begins with a burst of rapturous thankfulness forthe joy of forgiveness (w. 1, 2), passes to paint indark colours the misery of sullen impenitence (w. 3, 4),and then, in one longer verse, tells with glad wonderhow sudden and complete was the transition to the joy of forgiveness by the way of penitence. It is achart of one man's path from the depths to the heights,and avails to guide all.3°4THE PSALMS.The psalmist begins abruptly with an exclamation(Oh, the blessedness, etc.). His new joy wells upirrepressibly. To think that he who had gone so fardown in the mire, and had locked his lips in silencefor so long, should find himself so blessed I Joy soexuberant cannot content itself with one statement of itsgrounds. It runs over in synonyms for sin and itsforgiveness, which are not feeble tautology. The heartis too full to be emptied at one outpouring, and thoughall the clauses describe the same things, they do sowith differences. This is true with regard to the wordsboth for sin and for pardon. The three designationsof the former present three aspects of its hideousness.The first, rendered (" transgression,") conceives of it asrebellion against rightful authority, not merely breachof an impersonal law, but breaking away from a right-

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