David’s Testimony Concerning Justification
In chapter Fourteen we had a visit with Abraham, now we shall visit with David and listen as he describes the blessedness of the justified. David is called “the sweet Psalmist of Israel,” and his description takes the form of a song. He sings one of his sweetest songs when he tells of the justifying grace of God. The reason he can sing so sweetly is that he experienced in his own life the blessing he sings of. He knew “the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.” vs. 6. He calls blessed those whom the the law could only condemn. What a sinner David was! Not only was his own soul plunged into sin’s darkness in one chapter in his life, but he had “given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme.” 2 Sam. 12:4. How could he be happy until he acknowledged his sin and received the assurance of forgiveness. With the old account settled and assured that nothing could be reckoned against him David could be happy. This new found joy he describes for us in Psalm 32.
In Psalm One David sings of the happiness of the man who never sinned. I am sure he was not thinking of himself then. David was a prophet and the Holy Spirit had the Lord Jesus Christ, the perfect Man in view when that Psalm was penned.
In Psalm Fourteen, David strikes the minor key. He says they are “all together become filthy.” So both David and we ourselves are included in these—filthy, unprofitable and godless.
In Psalm twenty-two we see the Holy, Spotless Man of Psalm One treated as if He were the godless one of Psalm fourteen. Hear Him say “Why hast thou forsaken me.” The last word of Psalm 22 is, “He hath done this.” That is the gospel. Now take your pencil and write in faith, “For me.” “He hath done this for me.” Then you can enter into the blessedness described in Psa. 32.
The Happiness of a Forgiven Sinner
But surely, we say, one who has sinned so deeply cannot share the same blessing with the One who never sinned? “Oh yes,” says David, “you see I sinned and was in great distress until I took my place before God as a guilty sinner; then God freely forgave all my sins, and now I can sing of indescribable bliss and this blessing is not mine alone, it belongs to anyone, whoever he may be, “to whom God imputeth righteousness apart from works.”
How hideous sin is and how unhappy we are in its company. Look at the three words David uses to describe it in Psa. 32.
1. Transgression which is really “lawlessness” and speaks of the rebellion of the human will against the will of God.
2. Sin meaning “missing the mark.” That is what sin always does. The sinner loses out in the end. Jonah you remember paid the fare to Tarshish but he never got there, and so everyone that sins is disappointed in the end.
3. Iniquity or “crookedness.” Sin is quite like its father the old crooked serpent, the devil.
Then David tells us how God deals with our sins. Again he uses three words. They tell a wonderful story of grace.
1. Forgiven—”lifted.” God has lifted the awful load from off our shoulders.
2. Covered. That is they are “out of sight.” Adam and Eve in Eden needed no covering. As soon as they sinned they sought to hide their sin. They sewed fig leaf aprons together for a covering, but fig leaves cannot hide sin. God took innocent victims, their blood was shed and with their bleeding skins he covered the guilty pair. What a picture of salvation. Only blood can put sins out of sight.
3. “Imputeth not” God not only struck the whole dark list clean off from His books, but left room for no more entries. All our accounts have been charged to the Lord Jesus Christ, He has paid it all and that is why a believer will never come into condemnation.
1. In which of the Psalms mentioned in our lesson does the believer find himself?
2. Can a sinner be happy if not saved?
3. What three words does David use for sin?
4. Find one other reference to each of these words.
5. What three words describe God’s method of dealing with the believer’s sins?