by David Cawston

An Unforgiven Conscience
David Cawston
Psalm 32


Our conscience may be invisible, but it certainly is not inactive. Who hasn't been disturbed by its pleading? An unforgiving conscience can rob us of an appetite as well as drive us to distraction. The ancient Psalm writer, David, was no stranger to this malady. As we will soon discover, he became more increasingly more physically ill and emotionally distraught. The longer he refused to come to terms with the enormity of his guilt. Only forgiveness can take away grinding guilt. As we read through his Psalm, two things catch the eye before we even get to verse 1. It's a song that David was lead to write under the inspiration of God. He writes out of his personal experience. Second, we see the term, maskil. Maskil is a transliterated Hebrew word that appears before 13 Psalms. It is a Hebrew derivative that means, to be prudent circumspect, wise to have insight. The 32nd Psalm is designed to give its readers wisdom and insight when dealing with situations of the conscience. Psalm 51 should be tied with Psalm 32. Both were written after David's adultery with Bath-sheba and his attempt of covering his sin by having her husband, Uriah set up to lose his life on the battle field. Psalm 51 was probably written first during the anguish of guilt under which David suffered so severely. Psalm 32 was written after the anguish, after his forgiveness had been secured and his piece of mind had been restored. So Psalm 32 could be entitled,

The blessedness and forgiveness.

I. The Expression of Present Joy - verses 1 & 2

How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. How blessed
is the man to whom the Lord does not impute
iniquity and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

In these two verses, David is overjoyed, exuberant in his expression of gratitude towards God. If you look closely, you'll find 4 specific terms for wrong-doing in these 2 verses. ...

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