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  • Chad Werkhoven

Psalm 32 - Practical & Relevant

Want straightforward, practical advice on how to live a blessed life? Just open the Psalms.

Read / Listen

Read Psalm 32

Listen to passage & devotional:


Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 115

Q. No one in this life

can obey the Ten Commandments


why then does God want them

preached so pointedly?

A. First, so that the longer we live

the more we may come

to know our sinfulness

and the more eagerly

look to Christ

for forgiveness of sins

and righteousness.

Second, so that,

while praying to God

for the grace of the Holy Spirit,

we may never stop striving

to be renewed more and more

after God’s image,

until after this life we reach

our goal: perfection.



"The Bible just isn't very relevant in this day and age..." What a lousy excuse so many people give for not digging into God's Word! As if the Bible is nothing more than page after page of ancient history, obscure laws, and meaningless religious rituals!

Quite the opposite is true! This is the second day in a row now that our passage has given us pointed, specific and actionable instruction as to how you can live a blessed life; that is, a life filled with happiness, joy and shalom. What could possibly be more practical and relevant?

Like the other Psalms we've looked at this week, Psalm 32 is divided up into strophes (stanzas / verses). Notice how these strophes progress:



1 (v1-2)

Gets right to the point that the key to happiness is having sins forgiven.

2 (v3-4)

Not confessing sin crushes people (bones waste away under God's heavy hand, strength sapped)

3 (v5)

Acknowledging / confessing sin leads to immediate forgiveness of sin & guilt

4 (v6-7)

God's heavy hand is transformed into a hand of protection and songs of deliverance

5 (v8-10)

God instructs the repentant in the way they should go. The Lord's ḥěʹ·sěḏ (unfailing) love surrounds the one who trusts in Him

6 (v11)

People who repent of their sin and follow God's commands rejoice and are glad in life!

Dig Deeper

David demonstrates the two primary uses of God's law here in Psalm 32. To the unrepentant, God's law feels like a heavy hand on them, sapping their strength with bone crushing guilt (v3-4). As ugly as this seems, this is God's redemptive power at work, causing us to "more eagerly look to Christ for forgiveness of sins and righteousness (QA 115)."

This makes sense. Without the law bearing down on us, we'd never know of God's holy wrath until it was too late to repent! Guilt is a gift of grace that drives us to the cross! When you confess your transgressions to the Lord, He will forgive the guilt of your sin (v5).

But God's Law becomes even more valuable on this side of the cross. Through it, God "will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go," so that you don't get sucked into the many "woes of the wicked (v9-10)," but instead live a blessed life, rejoicing and being glad in the Lord (v11).

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, whose ḥěʹ·sěḏ love surrounds the one who trusts in Him (v10);

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God that His Law exposed your sin and pointed you to the cross, and pray that you will be instructed and taught by His Law in the way you should go (v8);



Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - John 14


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