Summer ought to be a season when we’re able to rest well—a time we can spend with the Lord and His goodness. But, oftentimes, we actually fall out of healthy spiritual habits and end up trying to rest from the Lord instead of resting in Him.
That’s why we’ve created the Summer Selah Series. Over 40 days, we’ll be sharing daily devotions during a season where you may not feel very devoted.
Based on excerpts from his book Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion, Ross Lester, our Pastor of Preaching and West Congregation Pastor, will provide readings from select Psalms, a brief devotional reflection, and some prayer points for each of the 40 days.
Take some time to read Psalm 32. Then, come back and read the following verses again.
“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” (Psalm 32:1-2 ESV)
I preach the gospel for a living, so you would think I would have gotten used to it by now. But when I read passages like Psalm 32, I am totally overwhelmed afresh by the good news. I know that I will sound like a stuck record, going on about the goodness and sweetness of God’s mercy towards us, but honestly, I never get tired of listening to that record, and I don’t think you should either.
The historians and theologians think that David wrote this Psalm shortly after repenting for his vile and violent sin against Bathsheba and her husband. This repentance is recorded for us in Psalm 51. After he repents though, he celebrates his forgiveness and his new found right-standing before God. He then pens Psalm 32 as a song to be sung at the annual celebration of the expiation of Israel. This was a time of repentance and celebration as the sins of men were carried away from them, never to be seen again. This is kind of what the taking of communion should feel like in a church community.
David tells us to remember that we are already blessed if our sins are forgiven—and they are. He teaches us that pretending to be righteous is foolishness, as this deceit brings us agony, and God knows anyway and is waiting to forgive us. So, we should run to Him as soon as we can, while there is still breath in our lungs, because there is no guarantee of how long that will be true for us.
Lastly, David reminds us that God doesn’t forgive and cleanse us begrudgingly, but He does it because He loves us and our sin does not change that. His love is unfailing, even when we repeatedly fail.
I love this! He wants to forgive you. He isn’t forced into it and isn’t exasperated by having to do it. He loves you! He delights in your return.
Now that’s a stuck record I need to listen to every day of my life.
Father God, thank You that my sins are forgiven and that makes me blessed indeed. Give me faith to celebrate and enjoy Your mercy and forgiveness, so that I don’t yield to the temptation to be deceitful about my failings. In Jesus’ beautiful name.
Ross Lester, Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion (Magnolia, Texas: Lucid Books, 2017)