Friday, August 7, 2009

Surrounded by Faithful Love and Joyful Shouts

Therefore let everyone who is faithful pray to You
    at a time that You may be found.
When great floodwaters come,
    they will not reach him.
You are my hiding place;
    You protect me from trouble.
You surround me with joyful shouts of deliverance.
Selah.
(Psalm 32:6-7 HCSB)
In Psalm 32, David expresses the deep happiness — the bliss — of being forgiven by God (v.1). There is no hiding out from God then, and no need to (v. 2). David had tried keeping his sin hidden, but it was tearing him up. Inside, he was brittle and dry, and his strength drained away “as in the summer’s heat (vv. 3-4). Then he turned to the Lord and acknowledged his sin, and to his joy discovered, “You took away the guilt of my sin” (v. 5).

Now he recognized that if God would do that for him, He will do that for anyone who quits hiding and turns to Him in faith. Though there is a time when God will bring forth justice into the world, there is still time for grace and mercy to be found. Then when calamity falls all around, those who are pardoned will remain.

There is a “hiding place,” a covering, a refuge, a secret place of safety. That hiding place is the Lord Himself. Before, David had been hiding from God but now he was learning to hide in God, for the Lord protects and preserves those who turn to Him. He watches over them like a shepherd, holding them near, to keep them in times of danger and guard them when adversaries and oppressors appear.

The Lord surrounds them with “joyful shouts of deliverance.” Not cries of fear. Not wails of despair. Joyful shouts of deliverance, the testimony of those who have seen the storm pass and find themselves still standing. They turned to the Lord and experienced His liberating power at every turn. They did not hide their sin from Him and they do not hide their praise from others — loud shouts and boisterous praise to the One who rescued them.

David did not hide his wrongdoing but confessed it to the Lord, and learned once again that “the one who trusts in the LORD will have faithful love surrounding him” (v. 11). The apostle John put it this way: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is no in us. If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9). “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (v. 7).

When we come out in the open with God, He will surround us with faithful love and joyful shouts.