The thirty-second psalm is all but drunk with sweet release.
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. (Psalm 32:1–2 ESV)
Like most durable truths, this one has been hard won. Whatever the shattering failure of the writer, it led to writhing that seemed a sickness unto death:
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. (Psalm 32:3–5 ESV)
YHWH stands at the pivot point between some of life’s most merciless agonies, on the one hand, and some of its most sustaining songs, on the other.
It is simply no use acting as though YHWH does not know us through and through. We impale ourselves upon our need to pretend.
Freedom hinges upon our ability to re-align ourselves with things as they really are. We call this confession.
In speaking the truth about ourselves in our Maker’s presence, we punch through to extraordinary, joyful liberty.
You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance …
Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! (Psalms 32:7, 10-11 ESV)
Some people sing to entertain. Some sing because they can think of nothing better to do. Some sing against the darkness.
None of these ought to be held in contempt.
Yet some sing because they have moldered behind a cold, entrapping wall, and then found the grace to declare the truth about the miserable creature that hunkers down without hope behind it.
It’s an odd, invigorating thing to hear the shouts, the songs of such people, their once wasting bones now given to artless, laughing leaps of joy.