Summer in The Psalms
Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! 2 Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! 3 When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. 4 Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. 5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. 6 Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. 7 For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. 8 The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. 9 Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” 10 Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord. 11 So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!
Guilt is a terrible thing. Feeling guilty can literally wreck your life.
- Guilt: a feeling of deserving blame for offenses
- Have you ever felt guilty?
- Did you ever do something to warrant feeling guilty?
- David, the writer of this Psalm sure did some things to warrant feeling guilty.
- David also experienced what it was like to be rid of his guilt.
What if… we would make decisions to live godly lives and pre-empt guilt every chance we got?
A remarkable thing happened this year in South Dakota!
A South Dakota high school golfer cost herself and her team a state championship when she self-reported an error she'd made on her scorecard. Sioux Falls Christian won the Class A girl’s state golf tournament on Tuesday, with senior Kate Wynja finishing first overall for the second year in a row. Wynja, who finished several shots ahead, realized she'd submitted an incorrect scorecard, crediting herself with a 4 on No. 18 instead of a 5.
"I knew I needed to tell them," Wynja told the Argus Leader. "It was really sad, mostly because I knew what the result would be. I knew that I would be disqualified, and it broke my heart for the team. But I knew I couldn't leave without saying something."
She and her coach reported the violation to tournament directors, who had no choice but to disqualify her. That also meant her team finished second, not first. The team championship went to Belle Fourche. Dan Swartos, a tournament director, called the situation "awful." "I have so much respect for Kate to come up and do that," he said. "I cannot say enough for that young lady and how much integrity that took, and how proud I am to have kids like that in South Dakota."
There has been an outpouring of support for Wynja on social media, with teammates and competitors offering support. "That was a tough situation in general (but) being surrounded by people who love me is awesome," Wynja said.
This young lady decided that giving up a state championship and doing the right thing was better than going through life feeling guilty.
What would you do?
How about having long-standing guilt and it’s driving you further and further away from the joy of the Lord? Can you identify with any of David’s observations?
David’s observations of being guilty of not confessing his sin.
- His body wasted away
- He groaned all night long
- He felt the disciplinary hand of God heavy on him
- His strength was zapped
A little boy visiting his grandparents was given his first slingshot. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit his target. As he came back to Grandma’s back yard, he spied her pet duck. On an impulse he took aim and let fly. The stone hit, and the duck fell dead. The boy panicked. Desperately he hid the dead duck in the wood pile, only to look up and see his sister watching. Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.
After lunch that day, Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.” But Sally said, “Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today. Didn’t you Johnny?” And she whispered to him, “Remember the duck!” So, Johnny did the dishes. Later, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing. Grandma said, “I’m sorry, but I need Sally to help me make supper.” Sally smiled and said, “That’s all taken care of. Johnny wants to do it.” Again, she whispered, “Remember the duck.” Johnny stayed while Sally went fishing.
After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally’s, finally he couldn’t stand it. He confessed to Grandma that he’d killed the duck. “I know, Johnny,” she said, giving him a hug. “I was standing at the window and saw the whole thing. Because I love you, I forgave you. But I wondered how long you would let Sally make a slave of you.”
Will you let the guilt of your sin steal your vitality?
Why not just give it to God?
David finally stopped hiding his sin and confessed!
- God forgave him
- His guilt is gone
- God became David’s hiding place
- God protected him from trouble
- God surrounded him with songs of victory
Dennis Davidson (Senior Pastor of the Shannondale Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN) in a sermon entitled "Punished for You and Me" tells this poignant story about Cliff Barrows, the longtime Music and program director for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Assoc.
Cliff Barrows himself tells of the time his two young children did something wrong. Although they were gently warned, they repeated the offense and needed to be disciplined. Cliff's tender heart was pained at the thought of having to punish the ones he loved.
So, he called Bobby and Bettie into his room, removed his belt bare back he knelt by his bed. He told each child to whip him ten times. Oh, how they cried! But the penalty had to be paid. The children sobbed as they lashed their daddy's back. Then Cliff hugged and kissed them, and they prayed together. "It hurt," he recalls, "but I never had to spank them again."
Are you haunted by the memory of some cowardly, selfish, or shameful acts? Jesus took the lashes for all our sins. Now He invites us to accept His forgiveness and devote the rest of our lives to Him. He wants us to know the greatness of His Father's love. That's why He died! God the Judge not only declared us guilty, but also paid our penalty
1 Pet. 2:24 – “He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.”
David then decides to listen to the Lord and make Him his guide!
- Now he gets God’s advice
- Now God watches over him
- Because David trusts in God, he receives God’s unfailing love
- Because David obeys God, he has unlimited joy and… his heart is pure (very important because our hearts must be pure to see God!)
Do you feel guilty about something in your life?
Why would you carry your guilt when you have someone who will take it away and replace it with joy?
Will you lay your guilt at the Cross today? The result? Unlimited Joy!