This Psalm or maskil, a skillfully written contemplative poem celebrates salvation. Do you know how blessed, how privileged you are to be forgiven of your sins? Salvation is a real miracle. Because we are forgiven we get to have a relationship with The Lord, not just any relationship but an intimate one where we can really know one another, and where we are so united that nothing can come between us or divide us. Trying to separate us from the Love of God is like trying to take the cream out of the coffee after it has been poured in. Verses 1-2 read,
“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.”
Forgiveness, salvation is not an automatic. There are prerequisites to The Lord counting no iniquity against us. We can’t just say one day, “I am a Christian” and have it be true. Yet many people call themselves Christian who are not. What are the requirements to salvation? They are simple, Verse 1 tells us, “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” What is our sin covered with? What does that mean? The sin of the person who is called righteous by God is covered by Jesus’ blood. Even in the days before Jesus came though, a relationship with the Lord was forged through the forgiveness of sin and faith in Him. It has always been faith that saves us. But under the Old Covenant sin was covered by the blood of sacrifices and offerings. In the New Covenant, Jesus is the only sacrifice we require.
But what does it take to ask Jesus to be your Lord? Why do we call on Him to redeem us? Why doesn’t He just automatically save everyone? Verses 3-5 tell us,
“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. “
God calls us all and the guilt of our wrongdoings are heavy on us. Not everyone responds to God’s call. We have to acknowledge our sin and confess it. We have to realize our need of a way to God. In the Old Covenant the way was the burnt offerings, the peace offerings and the sin offerings when the people couldn’t keep the Law. They had to go through those rituals knowing that the blood of those animals was on their heads because of their sin. Today we admit our sins and accept Jesus’ perfect sacrifice as payment for our sin. We have faith in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection to make the way for us to God. Without confession and repentance we are not saved. No one is perfect. All have sinned. (Romans 3:23). Even our pastors, even the most saintly of people have sinned and need Jesus. As difficult as it may be to admit to God that we have sinned and ask for forgiveness, it is not so hard when we know that we are not the only people who sin and when we know that there is no shame and no condemnation when we are delivered from who we were in sin to who we are as forgiven. Forgiveness takes away the punishment, the price we would have faced. The price of sin is death. (Romans 6:23). Jesus paid that price for you. He is the only one who could because He is the only one who never sinned. (2 Corinthians 5:21). He laid down His life for you. (1 John 3:16). He rose from the dead for you. (1 Corinthians 15:4). He ascended to Heaven to be your advocate, your door to a relationship with God, and to send the Holy Spirit to you. (Romans 8:34, Acts 1:8).
Have you asked the Lord to forgive you? Have you confessed to Him that you are a sinner and need Him? Have you been waffling on the edge wondering if you can or should call on Jesus? Today is the day. Now is the moment. You have no idea what will happen tomorrow, in five hours, or in five minutes. Verses 6-7 read,
“Therefore let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
they shall not reach him.
7 You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance.”
The godly are not the pious religious who claim to live perfect sinless lives. The godly are those who recognize their need for God and depend on Him for forgiveness and trust Him to keep them. The moment we pray and ask Him to forgive us and be our Lord and Master, we become godly and He makes us more godly, more like Him every day. Verses 8-9 read,
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9 Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
or it will not stay near you.”
God doesn’t leave His sheep to the wolves. He teaches us, guides us, and develops us, not as if we are animals trained with pavlonian methods. He teaches us as sentient intelligent people. We spend time with Him and He opens up His heart and mind to us. We read His Word, the Bible. We pray and we listen. We become part of a body (a church) of believers and we teach each other. We go through life depending on Him and through it all He transforms and conforms us to His image, godliness.
Salvation is a privilege and a miracle. It is awesome. We cannot keep quiet about how wonderful our Lord is. The lost suffer but nothing comes of it. The lost have no purpose and they go through life filled with grief or trying to suppress the futility of life. But we have purpose! Life is not empty to us because we see God working, we know why we are here. We are here to have a relationship with God and to bring others to a relationship with Him too. We celebrate Christ. We rejoice in the transformation of the Holy Spirit in us. We revel in the Father’s amazing love. Verses 10-11 close the Psalm.
“Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.
11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”