corner graphic   Hi,    
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to

Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
Psalms 32



Verses 1-11

“A Psalm of David, Maschil”: that is to say, an instructive psalm:

“Maschil.” I suppose that David wrote it after he had been forgiven and restored to divine favor. I think we may read it as a part of our own experience, either of conversion or when restored after backsliding.

Psalms 32:1-2. 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.

Twice he says “blessed.” He had felt the weight of sin; he had been sore troubled, and now that Nathan is sent to him with the word of pardon, “The Lord hath put away thy sin, though shalt not die,” he counts himself doubly blessed — blessed, not the man who has never sinned; blessed is he who, having sinned, is forgiven; not the man who has no sin, but whose sin is covered. Wonderful word! Both in English and Hebrew, it sounds very much alike. The sacred “Kophah.” the cover which covers sin so that sin is hidden, even from the eye of God himself! A wondrous deed! Blessed is the man who knows that divine covering! “Blessed,” says he “is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” All along, after David’s sin, he became very crafty and very cunning, full of guile. You know the dodges that he had resorted to, to cover up his sin; he tried to play some of his tricks on God himself, but he felt it was a mischievous and foolish thing to do: he was uneasy, he was unhappy. We have sometimes heard it said that after David sinned, he remained insensible for nine months, until he received the divine rebuke; but it was not so. He remained very sensitive, very depressed, very unhappy, and he was trying this way and that to cover up his sin and guile. He could not do it; he ought to make a clean breast of it, and confess it before God, and give up his crooked ways, and his ideas of excusing himself, and when he had done that, when he had given up his guile and his guilt, too, then he got the double blessing: “Blessed, blessed!” If there are any of you who are treading crooked ways with God and man, give them up. I know of nothing that will make you give them up like knowing free, full, perfect pardon through the precious blood of Christ, and the free grace of God. The two things go together, guilt and guile; the two things go out of us together; when guilt is pardoned, guile is killed. Now hear how David felt while he was conscious of his sin, and yet was not right with God.

Psalms 32:3. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.

A wanton glance, and the sin with Bathsheba. Where was the pleasure of it when it cost him all this? Such groaning that his very bones get old as if they were rotten, and his heart was heavy as if he wished to die. “For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me.” God was dealing with him; God with his hand pressing him heavily, forcing his sin home upon him, making him say, “My sin is ever before me.” Oh! the misery of sinning to a child of God. Do not dream that we can ever have any pleasure in sin; the worldling may, but the believer never can. To him it is a deadly viper, that will fill his veins with burning poison.

Psalms 32:4. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.

When he tried to pray, it was a dried-up prayer; he tried to make a psalm, but it was a dried-up song; he tried to do some good, for he was still a good man, but it was all withered without the Spirit of God. His moisture was gone out of him, turned into the drought of summer, and summer in David’s country was a very droughty thing indeed. Every human thing despaired, the grass seemed to turn to dust; it was so with him. If you go into sin, this is what will happen to you. If you are a true child of God, you will have all the joy of God taken from you, all the moisture of your heart dried up, and you will be like a parched, withered thing. “Selah”: time to stop, time to have a pause in the music; he was on so bass a key, he had need now to screw up the harp strings and rise to something a little sweeter.

Psalms 32:5. 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.

He must come to confession, full, spontaneous, unreserved; there must be a resolution. “I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord”; a firm determination to hide nothing, to see the sin yourself, and to tell the Lord that you do see it, and to confess it with great grief and sorrow. What a wonderful word that is: “I said, I will confess, and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” God took away the sin: ay, the very pith and marrow of it, “the iniquity of my sin.” Take the bone away, and the marrow of the bone too; “thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin” — it has all gone, wholly gone; by one stroke of God’s divine grace the sinner was pardoned. Selah again

Psalms 32:6. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.

“For this” (because of this and for this blessing) “shall everyone that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found.” The pardoning God must be sought. There is an attraction in the greatness of his mercy. They that are godly, even though they have offended and gone astray, must come back and seek for pardon in a time when thou mayest be found. “Surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.” The godly man is safe when the floods are out. There are times when great waters prevailed in David’s country; the brooks sometimes turned to rivers and came down with a rush when they were least expected; and here he says that, when such a thing as that shall happen, yet God’s people shall be saved, They shall come, but they shall not come nigh unto them. Let me read those words again: If you have gone to God in the day of your sin, and have found pardon, he that took away the sin will take away the sorrow. “Surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.”

Psalms 32:7. Thou art my hiding place; thou shall preserve me from trouble; thou shall compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.

“Thou art my hiding place” — precious words! “Thou art my hiding place”; not “Thou art a hiding place,” but “Thou art MY hiding place.” A man who is beset by foes does not stand still, and say, “Yes, I can see there is a hiding place there,” but he runs to it. Beloved, run to your hiding place this morning, each one of you who can have a claim and interest in Christ: run to him now and say: “Thou shalt preserve me from trouble.” David has come up out of the roaring to the singing; all the day long he roared, and now all the day long he sings; he hears songs everywhere: he lives in a circle of music; his heart is so glad. Well may he put another “Selah,” for he has smitten the strings very joyfully, and they need tuning again.

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

And here the speaker changes: “I will instruct thee”; I have forgiven thee; “I will instruct thee, and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go.” I have restored thee back to the way; now I will teach thee in the way thou shalt go. “I will guide thee with mine eye”; thine own might lead thee astray. I will guide thee with mine eye”; I will be on the path, I will fix mine eye upon thee. “I will guide thee with mine eye.”

Psalms 32:9. 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.

“Be ye not as the horse,” not only David, but all of you. If God will guide you, be guided; if he will teach you, be teachable; if he will be gracious to you, be gracious towards him.

Psalms 32:10. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.

“Many sorrows shall be to the wicked”; David had found that out; his sin had brought him a transient pleasure, but a lasting misery. He shall have a bodyguard of mercy; God will be gracious to him, tender to him, and will not leave him if he is trusting in the Lord.

Psalms 32:11. Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

“Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous.” Be glad. Well, but you cannot always be glad, says one. “Be glad in the Lord”; you may always be glad in him. Here is an unchanging source of joy. “Rejoice, ye righteous, and shout for joy.” Here is the man that was silent, has gone as far as shouting now. Is it not enough to make him? Twice he was blessed, in the first and second verses; and now he has been pardoned, he has been delivered, he has been compassed about with mercy: why, he must be glad! “Shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.” God bless you in the reading of his Word.

This exposition consisted of readings from Psalms 32; John 17.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Psalms 32:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". 2011.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, December 1st, 2020
the First Week of Advent
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology