Today I began reading Lamentations. Lamentations 1 is a cry of the fall of Jerusalem and a recollection of how things were and what they are now. It is a stark contract to the reading from Psalm 32 which is an encouragement for the believer who confesses sin and finds forgiveness.
I am not sure how I will respond to my time in Lamentations. In the past, it has not been a place where I have enjoyed or felt moved by what I have read. I would like to be more disciplined and prepared this time while reading through Lamentations and hear what the Holy Spirit is trying to teach to me.
I am glad for the heart lifting blessings of Psalm 32 however. Beginning with Ps. 32:1-2, this psalm is a great reminder of the cornerstone of our spiritual birth. We are greatly blessed to have our sin covered by the blood of Jesus. I think that I would be stronger spiritually if I would simply remember this truth each day.
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,…
See the strong contrast between Ps 32:3-4 when we cover our sin or neglect to confess it to God and Ps. 32:5 when we acknowledge our sin and confess it. However, I believe that it also means that we genuinely confess sin with true sorrow in our heart because of the transgression it is against God. Not simply a pattern of sin, confess to relieve our conscience, and then return to that sin again. I understand that we all struggle with besetting sins that recur in our lives. I think that we do genuinely repent but find ourselves returning to battle those temptations again. In that case, we need to seek the help of the Holy Spirit to gain victory over those temptations. We can however, repeat sin that we confess with a form of superficiality but in reality, we have a great love of the pleasure of that sin than we do of God. That can be a real danger that puts us in a position of the risk of experiencing a hardening of our hearts. I pray that the Holy Spirit protects me from that! I think Ps. 32:6 reflects that thought.
Ps. 32:8-9 speaks of a heart that is willing and obedient to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. The contrast of the unwilling horse that needs a bit in its mouth to lead it tells me of the effects of rebellion against The Lord. How much better to be submissive to the Holy Spirit.
Finally, the contrast in Ps. 32:10 is worth noting. The wicked have many sorrows. The unspoken thing to note is that those sorrows must be borne alone. The contrast is that the one who obeys and follows The Lord may also have sorrows, but he/she also experiences the presence and the love of The Lord. In fact, that love is both steadfast and encompassing (surrounds).