1 Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord does not count against them
and in whose spirit is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night
your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, ‘I will confess
my transgressions to the Lord.’
And you forgave
the guilt of my sin.
6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
will not reach them.
7 You are my hiding-place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
9 Do not be like the horse or the mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you.
10 Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the Lord’s unfailing love
surrounds the one who trusts in him.
11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
sing, all you who are upright in heart!
The world today is full of nice people who always try to do the right thing. At least, that’s the message that society would feed us. (Apart from bad people like murderers, terrorists and politicians, obviously.) In all seriousness, though: most people honestly don’t see themselves as sinful - as long as you try to be good and do the right thing, that’s enough. Except, it isn’t. It doesn’t matter whether you’d class your sin as the darkest black or the palest grey, it’s still not pure white. And God is. And when any kind of darkness come into contact with light, it’s destroyed, eaten up, ceases existence. We are people in desperate need of a solution so that we can enter into fullness of relationship with our Creator and Father. We are a people in need of a Saviour. And his name is Jesus. Jesus enables us to be counted among the blessed, of whom this psalm speaks. All too often, we fall into the trap of preaching a therapeutic gospel - come to Jesus and you’ll feel warm and fuzzy ‘cos he loves you. He does love us, that’s indisputable: he loves us so much that he was willing to give himself for our sinfulness and shame. Let’s not soft-pedal on the crux of the gospel.
Questions for thought and discussion...
Where are you tempted to fall into the world’s way of thinking on this?
How can you help your young people to fully understand the implications of the good news?