It's a shame! Reflections on Psalm 32

“Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change?”

Brene Brown

  • What is your response to this quote?

  • In what ways do you relate to it?

When others fail we are quick to demand an apology and expect immediate repentance. This often changes when we are in a similar situation ourselves. We can barely look at ourselves in the mirror, let alone confess to a friend the hurt we have caused. I think all of us have choices that we’ve made or actions we’ve taken that we’ve either immediately or eventually regretted. Psalm 32 is David’s reflection on his poor choices. You can dig deeper into the backstory by turning 2 Samuel 12:1-14.

It’s a shame that it took David almost a year to face the mistakes he had made, but Psalm 32 demonstrates the change in his heart once he had confessed all to God. Reading through the rest of 2 Samuel, we discover that the consequences for David’s choices were extensive and yet these words show a heart resting in the freedom of God’s forgiveness.

1 Blessed is the one

whose transgressions are forgiven,

whose sins are covered.

2 Blessed is the one

whose sin the Lord does not count against them

and in whose spirit is no deceit.

3 When I kept silent,

my bones wasted away

through my groaning all day long.

4 For day and night

your hand was heavy on me;

my strength was sapped

as in the heat of summer.

  • What kind of freedom do we sense in David’s words?

  • What was David’s experience while he refused to acknowledge the choices he had made?

  • After reading 2 Samuel 12:1-14 how was David released from his corrosive shame?

  • How did this free him from the shame he was carrying?

  • Who holds you accountable when you fall away from God’s will for your life? In what ways do they love and support you as Nathan supported David?

5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you

and did not cover up my iniquity.

I said, ‘I will confess

my transgressions to the Lord.’

And you forgave

the guilt of my sin.

  • What freedom did David experience when he confessed his sins to God?

  • How did this free him from the shame he was carrying?

6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you

while you may be found;

surely the rising of the mighty waters

will not reach them.

7 You are my hiding-place;

you will protect me from trouble

and surround me with songs of deliverance.

It’s a shame that David hid from God for so long when his confession brought him to a place of safety. This place of safety is available to us as well.

8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;

I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

9 Do not be like the horse or the mule,

which have no understanding

but must be controlled by bit and bridle

or they will not come to you.

  • What do we learn about the nature of God’s guidance in these verses?

  • In what ways does shame change our perspective of God’s “loving eye?”

10 Many are the woes of the wicked,

but the Lord’s unfailing love

surrounds the one who trusts in him.

11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;

sing, all you who are upright in heart!

It’s a shame more of us don’t follow in David’s footsteps. Rather than hiding the precious gift of forgiveness we have received, we have an opportunity to sing the praises of a gracious God, just like David did.

“No matter the severity of sin, David assures us that deliverance is all around you. Many people object to coming to Christ for salvation because they believe that their sin is so severe that Christ would never forgive them. But there is no sin that is so severe that will not be forgiven when we confess it to the Lord. God will not turn away anyone who comes after him with a repentant heart. He is our sure safety.”

Andrew Rogers, 2014

If you are weighed down with the guilt of mistakes you have made, then lay it down today, it would be a shame not to!

"O come to the altar, the Father’s arms are open wide,

Forgiveness, was bought with, the precious blood of Jesus Christ."

Elevation Worship

#forgiveness #freedom #psalm32 #faith #rejoice #shame


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