Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Don’t Be …


We say “Don’t be stubborn as a mule!” David included a horse:

Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. (Psalms 32:9)

In the previous verse, David had written about God’s instructions:

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. (Psalms 32:8)

What might these two verse have to do with the beginning of this Psalm?

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. (Psalms 32:1-2)

These first verses were written by a man who transgressed – broke God’s law. He knew it, and attempted to keep men from knowing it by breaking another of God’s laws. This man had sinned – by doing what everyone knew was wrong, in both instances. His iniquity was depraved indifference for others – a defilement of his own soul. That man also understood forgiveness. His soul no longer carried the burden of guilt.

Instead, this man accepted God’s instruction, even the punishment that was meted out.  Although God knew of his sin, there is a necessary step that he – and we today – attempt to avoid:

I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. (Psalms 32:5)

This Psalm isn’t the only time David wrote of his sin and God’s forgiveness.

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. (Psalms 51:1-4)

He hurt others, defamed a wife, killed a man, destroyed a family, destroyed the trust of his closest friends – but it against the laws of God that David sinned.

It is against the laws of God that we sin, too. Please – do not weigh the difference between our sins and David’s. There really is none. When laws are broken, we’ve set a variety of conditions for restoring society, but God’s laws are different. He requires acknowledgement of those sins and a change of heart. Thank God, He also provides forgiveness!

David knew what was needed and shared with us:

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psalms 51:17)

In Psalm 37, David wrote of being old and knowing:

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. (Psalms 37:23-24)

Learn the lesson while young. Bring to our Lord your contrite heart instead of mule-headedness.

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