Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
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 was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
Therefore let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
they shall not reach him.
You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance.
Have you ever spent time in a desert? I’ve had the opportunity to drive through the Mojave Desert in southern California multiple times. The air in a desert is so dry, that it begins to affect every part of your body. The first thing I always notice is my eyes–they instantly feel attacked the second I get out of the car. The next thing that I become aware of is that my lips begin to chap and my mouth starts to feel really dry. I know I need to drink some water soon. My skin, my muscles, even my brain, all become aware of the lack of moisture and they begin sounding off alarms to the rest of my body for refreshment.
This is how I imagine that the writer of Psalm 32 felt in his soul. He had some sin that he was trying to cover up. Somewhere along the line, he had talked himself into being something less than Real with God. He was pretending… masquerading… hiding, and it was drying him up from the inside out.
Have you ever spent time in a similar “soul desert,” where every part of you begins to cry out because you are hiding something that you know you shouldn’t? Maybe you have looked at some things online that you knew were wrong, but you are too ashamed to talk to about it. Maybe you said some hurtful things to a friend, but it feels too awkward to apologize. Maybe you took something that wasn’t yours, but now it’s too late to return it. Do you recognize how this hiding makes your soul feel dry? Is there a part of you that longs to be refreshed again?
The writer of this psalm has a simple prescription for a soul desert: be real with God. “I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity [..] and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.” Sin is traded for forgiveness. Hiding is traded for honesty. Groaning is traded for gratefulness. Desert is traded for living water.
Jesus spent time in a desert (Matthew 4:1-11), and He was thirsty (John 4:7, John 19:28). But He had nothing to hide. He never did anything wrong. Instead, He poured out His own life for us. Because of His death on the cross for our sakes, He has taken our punishment and He has cleansed us of the shame and guilt of our sin.
He is the living water that our desert souls need (John 4:13-14). He is our hiding place and our deliverance! So, let’s come to Him with honest souls, thirsty for the refreshment He gives. He is inviting you. Will you come and drink?
- What’s something you have been hiding?
- What would it feel like to have refreshment in that area instead of desert dryness?
- How can you be real with God about this today?
God, I sometimes forget how much You desire my honesty. I’m sorry for the things that I have tried to keep hidden from You. I bring my dry soul to You. Please forgive and refresh me because of Jesus. Thank You for Your great love!