Week Thirty-Four Thoughts

This week my thoughts bring me to Psalm 32. This passage has been one that I have loved for quite a while now. This past week I went to a local museum here in Jacksonville with my wife to check out a temporary exhibit of French Modernist artist, including works by Monet, Degas, and other greats of this period. It is impressive to me how different styles of art can convey messages and how a story can be told in a painting, but equally impressive to me is how sometimes words can paint a beautiful picture. In Psalm 32 David paints one of the best pictures of the weight guilt I have ever seen or in this case read.

Not all art portrays something positive, just like verses 3 and 4 in Psalm 32. We are given this vivid picture of guilt. David writes, “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength (or vitality) was dried up as by the heat of summer.” This past week has had temperatures creeping up near 100, to say the least I think living in Florida we know the feeling of our strength or vitality being dried up or drained. David likens this feeling to the weight of sin in his life. I don’t know about you, but I believe this is an extremely accurate picture of the feeling of guilt.

Thankfully we see before and after in this Psalm that David also paints a beautiful picture of forgiveness. He does not necessarily go into detail on the feelings and paint a picture that way, but if we take the picture of guilt and we flip it we can paint a contrasting picture. Instead of the heat of the summer sun, the comfort of stepping into an air conditioned room, or jumping into a refreshing pool. Instead of our bones wasting away, a growing strength in our bodies. Instead of groaning all day, rejoicing all day long.

Take some time to dwell on the sweetness of forgiveness and rejoice over it! Share it with others. People need forgiveness, show them where it is, show them where your strength is. The forgiveness we have received from Christ is sweet and refreshing, but don’t forget about how repressive the guilt of sin is. When you forget, run back to Psalm 32. We have some really good news, let us share it with compassion remembering what guilt feels like. Share forgiveness with others! Also go out and enjoy some art!

Thanks for reading,

Pastor Josh