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Bible Commentaries

Sermon Bible Commentary

Psalms 32

Verses 1-2

Psalms 32:1-2

There are here a privilege, a character, and a blessing

I. The privilege is that of the "man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works" (Romans 4:6 ). (1) "Whose transgression is forgiven." This assurance is fitted to relieve that awful sense of guilt, that terrible apprehension of merited wrath, under which you labour when first your sin really finds you out. The first thing you need is to believe in the forgiveness of sin. (2) "Whose sin is covered." If your conviction of sin is genuine, it works in you, not fear only, but deepest shame, How then may you welcome the intimation that there is not only forgiveness for your transgression, but a covering for your sin! (3) "To whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity." No forgiveness of your transgression, no covering of your sin, will fully satisfy your anxious spirit unless you see how your iniquity itself, your transgression, your sin, bodily, as it were, can be dealt with, disposed of, got rid of, in terms of strictest law, demanding satisfaction and redress. (4) Now we reach the crowning and comprehensive summary of the Apostle: "to whom the Lord imputeth righteousness without works."

II. Such being the nature of the privilege, it is not difficult to see how it is connected with, and indeed dependent upon, the grace or qualification of a guileless spirit. The description here is one of complete peace. What is required of us but the laying aside of guile, what but honest dealing? God is true in His dealing with us. Let us be true in dealing with Him, as "the man in whose spirit there is no guile."

III. The blessedness flowing from the state and character of the man to whom the Lord imputeth righteousness without works, and in whose spirit there is no guile. (1) "Thou art my hiding-place." It is mutual and reciprocal confidence that warrants and prompts this exclamation. (2) "I will guide thee with Mine eye." This is a most benignant, gracious, kindly mode of guidance. It is fatherly guidance apprehended by a filial heart.

R. S. Candlish, The Gospel of Forgiveness, p. 182.

References: Psalms 32:1 , Psalms 32:2 . J. A. Sellar, Church Doctrine and Practice, p. 69. Psalms 32:1-7 , C. Kingsley, Town and Country Sermons, No. 29.

Verses 1-11

Psalms 32:0

In this Psalm David gives to the world his experience as a sinner.

I. He tells us of the blessedness of forgiveness. He is blessed (1) because his sins are taken away; (2) because his sins are covered or hidden, and that from God, not from men; (3) because he is treated as innocent.

II. He tells us of the result of his attempts to cover his sin. (1) His body suffered from the terrors of remorse. (2) The old freshness of his heart was gone, like a running stream dried up in the sickening heat of the Eastern sun.

III. He tells us of the remedy which he found. It was confession. (1) True confession implies your viewing the fact of your sin in the same light in which God views it. (2) Confession implies renunciation.

IV. How does the remedy work in David's case? He sums up the result in a single sentence: "Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin."

V. The legitimate result of every such experience is to make its subject a teacher. "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go" this way of repentance and confession in which I have walked.

M. R. Vincent, Gates into the Psalm Country, p. 109.

Reference: Psalms 32:0 M. G. Pearse, Some Aspects of the Blessed Life, p. 34.

Verse 8

Psalms 32:8

(1) The first thought that occurs to the mind about this strange and lovely compass is its gentleness. God draws us with a silken cord. (2) The second thought is, how it honours a man, recognises within him intellectual and moral powers which can respond to such silent government. (3) Notice the wonderful variety there must be in such guidance. For the eye has infinite capability of expression, and speaks all languages. (4) And yet it is actually personal. The look of the eye is essentially individual. (5) It is characteristically loving, for the eye is the expression of the heart.

I. How will the guiding come? God has made three great revelations of His will: the Bible; Christ's life; the Holy Ghost's teaching. But in each there is the same underlying principle and central fact. That principle, that fact, is the mind of God. The mind of God shining through these things into a man is God's eye. It emits God to him. Faith is the inner eye of man. It is made to see, and to receive, and to follow truth. The eye of God and the eye of man must meet. Prayer clears the vision. Religious study clears the vision. Contemplation, the very looking into God's eye, clears the vision. More light streams in; and light used makes light again, till it grows so distinct and bright, that the eye of the man is an actual reflector of the mind of God.

II. See now how it works, and with what result. We all know how through the eye the mind of one man can so pass into the mind of another man, that the two minds become one. So it is between God and us. We see as God sees. We judge as God judges. And the more pious we grow, the greater the assimilation and the more intuitive our sense of God's will becomes about everything. In heaven we shall be holy, because we shall see Him face to face; that eye of God which lured us at the beginning, and never left us, has done it all.

J. Vaughan, Sermons, 13th series, p. 37.

References: Psalms 32:8 . C. Kingsley, The Good News of God, p. 137. Psalms 32:8 , Psalms 32:9 . G. Calthrop, Temptation of Christ, p. 177; H. Melvill, Sermons on Less Prominent Facts, vol. ii., p. 233.Psalms 32:9 , Psalms 32:10 . F. D. Maurice, Christmas Day, and Other Sermons, p. 339. Psalms 32:10 . G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 178; A. Watson, Sermons for Sundays, Festivals, and Fasts, 1st series, p. 53.Psalms 32:0 A. Maclaren, Life of David, p. 227; Sermons for Boys and Girls, p. 143.

Verse 8

Psalms 32:8

(1) The first thought that occurs to the mind about this strange and lovely compass is its gentleness. God draws us with a silken cord. (2) The second thought is, how it honours a man, recognises within him intellectual and moral powers which can respond to such silent government. (3) Notice the wonderful variety there must be in such guidance. For the eye has infinite capability of expression, and speaks all languages. (4) And yet it is actually personal. The look of the eye is essentially individual. (5) It is characteristically loving, for the eye is the expression of the heart.

I. How will the guiding come? God has made three great revelations of His will: the Bible; Christ's life; the Holy Ghost's teaching. But in each there is the same underlying principle and central fact. That principle, that fact, is the mind of God. The mind of God shining through these things into a man is God's eye. It emits God to him. Faith is the inner eye of man. It is made to see, and to receive, and to follow truth. The eye of God and the eye of man must meet. Prayer clears the vision. Religious study clears the vision. Contemplation, the very looking into God's eye, clears the vision. More light streams in; and light used makes light again, till it grows so distinct and bright, that the eye of the man is an actual reflector of the mind of God.

II. See now how it works, and with what result. We all know how through the eye the mind of one man can so pass into the mind of another man, that the two minds become one. So it is between God and us. We see as God sees. We judge as God judges. And the more pious we grow, the greater the assimilation and the more intuitive our sense of God's will becomes about everything. In heaven we shall be holy, because we shall see Him face to face; that eye of God which lured us at the beginning, and never left us, has done it all.

J. Vaughan, Sermons, 13th series, p. 37.

References: Psalms 32:8 . C. Kingsley, The Good News of God, p. 137. Psalms 32:8 , Psalms 32:9 . G. Calthrop, Temptation of Christ, p. 177; H. Melvill, Sermons on Less Prominent Facts, vol. ii., p. 233.Psalms 32:9 , Psalms 32:10 . F. D. Maurice, Christmas Day, and Other Sermons, p. 339. Psalms 32:10 . G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 178; A. Watson, Sermons for Sundays, Festivals, and Fasts, 1st series, p. 53.Psalms 32:0 A. Maclaren, Life of David, p. 227; Sermons for Boys and Girls, p. 143.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Psalms 32". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/sbc/psalms-32.html.