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The blessedness of having sin cancelled, and the blessedness of being brought into a state where there is no iniquity, are here both set forth. The joy and comfort of having favour with God, and having God for a hiding place, are also set forth in strong expressions of delight.
A Psalm of David. Maschil.
It is our mercy that we are not left to make our own comment upon this Psalm without a guide. The Holy Ghost, by his servant the apostle Paul, hath done it to our hands. In the fourth chapter of his Epistle to the Romans, in the person and character of Abraham, the great truth here set forth is explained. The blessedness here spoken of, in pardoned sin, and iniquity not imputed, is expressly said to be to that man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works. Hence, therefore, nothing can be more plain, from the Holy Ghost's own explanation, as instanced in the case of Abraham, the great father of the faithful, than that every believer in Christ, as Abraham was, hath his sins, covered and Christ's righteousness imputed unto him, though he himself hath wrought no righteousness to entitle him to such mercy. In confirmation of these things so infinitely momentous as they are, I very earnestly beg the Reader to peruse these scriptures: Romans 4:0 throughout; John 8:56 .
I do not presume to say that Christ, as the sinner's Surety; is here speaking: but as the word Selah occurs at the close of this complaint, and as the words themselves correspond to some well-known words of Christ, I think it may not be unprofitable to keep our eye upon Christ while we read them. Psalms 22:14-19.22.15 . But if they are not spoken of Christ by prophecy; yet all the people of Christ may be well supposed feeling their own case more or less described in that.
This is a beautiful verse. What a lovely view doth it give of a poor penitent! What a view doth it give of the clemency of God in Christ!
Every believer's experience confirms this: Psalms 145:18 . And every believer knows also, that many waters cannot quench Jesus's love, neither the floods drown it: Song of Solomon 8:7 .
What a rich verse this is, and what a rich representation is made in it of the Lord Christ, as the hiding place of poor redeemed sinners? In his person, in his righteousness, in his blood, in his salvation, in his power, love, goodness, grace here, glory hereafter, how everlastingly secured are his redeemed ones! Hid from sin, from Satan, from themselves and their own corruptions; from all the accusations of the law, the alarms of conscience, and the justice of Almighty God. Jesus hath sustained all for them, when he became a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest. Precious Jesus! be thou to my soul, at these, and everything I want beside; for thou art indeed to all thy redeemed, both as rivers of water in a dry place, and as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. Isaiah 32:2 .
All these expressions, if accepted in reference to what went before, are to the same effect, and directed to the same purpose. God will guide his people with his counsel, and compass them about with mercy. So that there is always cause for the children of God to triumph; while sinners, unreclaimed, and who refuse divine teachings, will find cause for continual sorrow.
READER! how very gracious the Lord is, in the blessed provision made against the evil effects of sin and iniquity in our poor fallen nature? How sweet is it to feel the effects of grace leading to repentance. But, Reader! let you and I keep in remembrance, that although a gracious God in Christ, when we confess our transgressions, will forgive the iniquity of our sin; yet this pardon ariseth not for our repentance and confessions, but for the sake of Christ the Lamb of God, who hath taken away sin by the sacrifice of himself. It is not our tears, our repentance, our sorrow, our confession, which entitle us to mercy; for what glory, or what recompense to God's righteous laws, which we have broken by sin, can the Lord find from these and ten thousand more of our endeavours to restore the honour of his holiness and his glory, which by us is impossible? Surely, if we think at all, we cannot but conclude, that there is nothing in us, or in our greatest exertions, which can satisfy divine justice, when we ourselves are altogether as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses as filthy rags. But it is Jesus, in his holiness and covenant righteousness, it is his blood which cleanseth, and his obedience which justifieth, without any other procuring cause on our part, and which brings us, into a state of acceptance before God. Reader! are you fully established in these truths? Then will you enter into a real, heartfelt enjoyment of the blessedness this Psalm speaks of. It is indeed, most blessed, when in Christ we behold righteousness imputed to us, who are poor sinners in ourselves: and it is most blessed when the load of guilt is taken away, and the sin of our souls is so completely covered, that, like the sin of Judah, though written by nature as with a pen of iron, and graven upon the tablet of the heart, yet, by grace in Christ, when sought for, it shall not be found. God saith I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more. Blessed Jesus! in thee these blessings alone we find. Thou art the Lord our righteousness. Clothe me, holy Lord, with thy garment of salvation, and cover me with the robe of thy righteousness; then will mercy indeed compass me about, and my soul will shout for joy with all the upright in heart.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 32". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent