Behind - The Blessing of Being Forgiven

Bible Book: Psalms  32 : 8-11
Subject: Forgiveness; Blessing of Forgiveness
Series: Behind

We have spent the last few weeks looking at the “Delight of Being Forgiven,” “The Decline That Comes When We Fail To Be Forgiven,” “The Description of Being Forgiven,” and now today we will deal with the “Direction From The One Who Forgives.”

During David’s months of disobedience and deceit, David lost his joy, but also lost his confidence and his heart undoubtedly condemned him. He knew he was out of the will of God. Once David confessed his sin to God, repented of his sins and took full responsibility for his disobedience, his confidence returned. Now the Lord begins to personally speak to him.

1 John 3:19-21 - “And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.”

Love banishes self-condemnation. The love of God results in confidence about his relationship with God.

Psalms 25:14-15 - “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant./My eyes are ever toward the Lord,/For He shall pluck my feet out of the net.”

V14. “secrets” – counsel or intimate personal communion.

V15. “net” – snares

Ecclesiastes 7:26 - “And I find more bitter than death /The woman whose heart is snares and nets, / Whose hands are fetters. / He who pleases God shall escape from her, / But the sinner shall be trapped by her.”

“He who is good before God”

Note the Lord’s Direction to the Forgiven:


The forgiven are ready for instruction. Only those who are right with God can be taught by God. The speaker in verse 8 is God Himself. He promises to “instruct,” “teach,” and “guide.” These words speak of wisdom, knowledge and obedience. To instruct is to give insight; teach is to instruct; guide is to give advice. For this to happen one has to stay close to God. The obedient can be guided by “His eyes.” It’s when we get our eyes off the Lord that we sink.

John Phillips speaks of Jesus giving 3 looks:

1. A warm look

2. A welcoming look

3. A warning look

Luke 22:61-62 - “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So Peter went out and wept bitterly.”

Jesus guided Peter with His eyes without saying a single word. To be guided with “His eyes” suggests our responsiveness to His glance; it calls for a teachable spirit. David is learning that if forgiveness is good, fellowship is better. This text also speaks of God’s vigilance and intimate care. We always live and walk before Him.


This passage contains a warning that contrasts with the positive teaching in verse 8. Here David is being reminded of his own past responses. Remember the “horse” wants to bolt ahead while the “mule” wants to lag stubbornly behind. David had rushed ahead into sin, but then he stubbornly held back when it came to confessing his sins.

Listen to David’s son Solomon in his warning.

Proverbs 7:22-23 - “Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, Or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, Till an arrow struck his liver. As a bird hastens to the snare, He did not know it would cost his life.”

In Psalm 32:9 the text suggests that a believer who refuses to obey God actually behaves like an animal. Some believe that the Lord compared Saul of Tarsus to a stubborn animal who needed to be goaded (pricked) Acts 9:5.

The warning is clear, if God cannot trust us like children, appealing to our love and understanding, then He must use more severe means, the ‘bit and bridle,” to get our attention and control us.

Proverbs 26:3

“A whip for the horse,

A bridle for the donkey,

And a rod for the fool’s back”

The only way to control animals is to break them and harness them, but God didn’t want to do that to His servant David. Instead, He would teach him His word and keep His eyes upon him, surrounding him with mercy.

“else they will not come near you” - the “harnessed” speaks of those to whom the Lord has applied pressure. The Psalmist reflects gratefully on his response to the grace of God in his life when God’s hand pressed hard on him (verses 3-4).

He draws near to the Lord and confessed his sins. The godly draw near to Him out of a personal desire for holiness. Those who do not draw near to Him to find refuge (verse 6) are like animals that have to be held in check.


David was confident of God’s grace. As we trust the Lord; we can know that God’s mercy would surround us. God in His grace gives us what we don’t deserve and in His mercy doesn’t give us what we do deserve.

Warren Wiersbe says there are 2 basic Hebrew words for “mercy.” The one word in verse 10 carries the thought of “enduring strength, loyalty.” The other word is related to “the womb” and suggests “a mother’s compassion.”

You have the combination of strength and compassion, loyalty and love, in the mercy of God.

David’s son Solomon would pen this reminder in Proverbs 28:13.

Proverbs 28:13 - “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.


David went from “godly sorrow” that changed his “many sorrows” into “shouts of rejoicing.”

Rebellion and deceit brought silence, now repentance and confession restored his shout and song.

The “shout for joy” is not David’s encouragement, but the Lord Himself.

Note the 3-fold exhortation:

1. Be glad

2. Rejoice

3. Shout for joy

There is an order to the 3-foldness in this entire text of Psalm 32:

Transgression, sin, iniquity

Forgiven, covered, impute

Now rejoice in what the Lord has done, “in the Lord.”

David is referred to as “godly” in verse 6 and “righteous” in verse 11. This speaks of his position in the Lord, even though his practice had been inconsistent.


David’s Ending:

1 Chronicles 29:28 - “So he died in a good old age, full of days and riches and honor; and Solomon his son reigned in his place.”

Acts 13:36 - “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption;”