In our Sunday school class, we’ve been discussing repentance. And I decided that if we adults sometimes need help defining it biblically (and we do), then it would be worthwhile to share the love and teach these things to our children. Yesterday I read them Psalm 32.
I told them that King David sinned. [what did he do, mom? I told them.]
I explained that David starts the poem talking about how happy he was. I asked them to listen to the first two verses and see if they could tell me what made him happy.
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered!
2 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit!
I explained that David wanted us first to know how happy he was so we could understand how horrible it was when he was hiding his sin. (Notice that the last word of the happy part is the same idea as the first clause of the sad part: deceit=when I kept silent.)
3 When I kept silent,
my bones grew old
Through my groaning all the day long.
4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was turned into the drought of summer.
I asked them how King David hid his sin. “When I kept silent.” Sometimes just keeping silent is the same as hiding sin. I told them that King Solomon learned this lesson too.
He that covereth his sins shall not prosper:
but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
Did David stop hiding his sin? I asked. They were quite certain that he did, and I told them how he did it. First, he told God about his sin. He asked God to forgive him.
5 I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
6 For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You
In a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters
They shall not come near him.
I explained that these verse tell us one reason King David wrote his poem, so that we would know how to confess and forsake our sin. The next part tells us about what we should start doing after we tell God our sin and ask him to forgive us.
7 You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve me from trouble;
You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.
9 Do not be like the horse or like the mule,
Which have no understanding,
Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle,
Else they will not come near you.
I asked them, Did King David have to be forced to do right? When we repent, will we be like a horse who has to be forced to obey with a bit and bridle? Or a horse who listens eagerly to figure out what his master wants him to do? Bethel liked that part. She likes horses, and she wanted to see if the Bible really had something to say about horses.
10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked;
But he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him.
11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous;
And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Sorrows come when we hide our sin. David wanted to jump and shout for joy when he was forgiven.
Which is better?
Truly, which is better? I love that King David tells us what to DO, but also explains how what we do affects how we FEEL. Good preaching to mommy, wasn’t it?