I've been reading through the Psalms and taking my time doing it. There is so much to glean in these songs and poems, I seriously think I could read each one a hundred times over and see something new each time. That was the case the other day as I was reading Psalm 32. The title of that Psalm is "Blessed are the Forgiven."
Ain't that the truth.
What hit me this time when I read it (with the aid of a handy dandy footnote in my study Bible) was the use of the work "covered."
1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
5 I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
In verse 1 it says the one whose sin is covered is blessed. Blessed literally means happy or favored. In verse 5 it says I did not cover my iniquity. So if your sin is covered your blessed, but the the writer says he didn't cover his sin. Then later in the same verse it says 'you forgave the iniquity of my sin.' It was such a nuanced little thing that I missed so many times before.
When God covers my sin, I'm blessed. When I cover my sin (or try to) by keeping silent and hiding it, my bones waste away and I groan all day long. There's actually a physical experience of suffering judgment for the unrepentant heart. But as soon as I stop trying to hide my sin and acknowledge and confess it to the Lord, He is faithful (and quick) to forgive! By not covering up my sin, I make room for the Lord to cover it on my behalf.
A few days ago my husband was in a fender bender. The man who accidentally hit him was driving a borrowed care on a suspended license. Naturally when we looked at the damage one of our first thoughts (after is everyone all right) was "will it be covered"? Because when there's been an offense there's always a cost for damages. Fortunately the owner of the car had the kind of insurance that extended to other drivers of her vehicle and it looks like we won't have to pay to repair our car. But the point is there's a price to pay when a transgression has occurred. And in the case of the car accident, the offender didn't have the means to cover it.
Because my sins are always first and foremost committed against God (see Psalm 51:4) the damage is far more severe because the one I offended is perfectly holy and demands payment in full. And the cost is far more than I could ever afford to pay. The amazing thing is He also offers the full payment on my behalf. That's the assurance when you trust in Jesus. His death on the cross was the payment for every sin I've ever committed, past, present and future. All I have to do is acknowledge and confess instead of hide and groan.
And then I'm blessed.
That's really Good News.