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Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, by John Nelson Darby, [1857-62], at

Psalms Chapter 32

Now (Psalm 32) we have what he wants still more the forgiveness of sins. The pressure of affliction turns him to God's law, but to the consciousness of having broken it. Righteousness in that sense he could not plead: forgiveness was his need, and that Jehovah should not impute the iniquity he had, and was brought to acknowledge. Long he had striven against this; but Jehovah gave him no rest. But he confesses sin, and guile is gone from his heart: impossible till then. We are hiding iniquity in it. Forgiveness in grace draws the godly man to God. In the water-floods they do not come nigh him. Jehovah is the hiding-place of the soul preserves, blesses, guides. Only they are warned to be intelligent through obedience, and not to be without understanding, so that God must guide by providential power.

Remark here that while forgiveness is celebrated (and the remnant will deeply need it), yet the great distinctive truth which separates them from the mass of the people is kept up distinctlytrust, righteousness, and integrity of heart. To the wicked there are sorrows.

In principle, such a psalm, blessed be God, has the widest application. For the remnant it is prophetic, to induce truth in the inward parts, and encourage them by goodness to that confession of sin in which alone God can bless, as is ever the case. For forgiveness and no guile go together. They will only know full acceptance when they look upon Him whom they have pierced, who comes as Jehovah to deliver. But let us lay to heart the great principle of this psalm. Full absolute forgiveness, the not imputing sin at all, is what takes guile from the heart. Else we flee from God, excuse, palliate, if we dare not justify. Where full pardon is before us, we have courage to be true in heart. Who will not declare all his debts when their discharge by another is the only thing in question? who not tell his malady for a certain cure? Grace brings truth into the heart brought to confess its transgressions. He finds all the burden of his sins gone. The humble and godly are encouraged to draw near to a God thus known. "There is forgiveness with thee, that thou mightest be feared." The psalm will encourage the remnant thus to true confession. When possessed, they will enter into full blessing. We thus see how it is a prophetic preparation and school for them, drawing out before them what will not all be accomplished when they are thus brought to look to Jehovah, but which they thus know will be. Hence these psalms speak of Jehovah's character, as it has been proved with the inspired composers; in principle, often in letter, with Christ, in order to draw out the confidence of the Jews in the day of distress, and to comfort every uneasy soul. Thus the celebration of complete deliverance is mixed with the cry for it, because it is prophetic and has had fulfilments.

Next: Psalms Chapter 33