Posted September 30, 2013
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. 9 Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.
Psalm 32 is the first instructive psalm (“maskil”) in the Psalter. In the first two verses, David speaks of the blessedness of forgiveness before God, moves into his own personal story of confession of sin (3-5), and then invites others into his story (for David’s story is our story with God as well) in verses 6 through 7. Verses 8 and 9 capture God’s beautiful response to the forgiven. It contains a promise and a warning.
The Promise of Instruction, Teaching, Counsel, and Presence
God here is not merely the Forgiver, but also the Great Instructor, Teacher and Counselor. God is not an unapproachable god who rules from a distance; this God of the Bible hears our cries of confession, but doesn’t stop there; He in turn seeks to guide us into true life! What a beautiful and powerful promise... Too often we forget God’s heart. We assume we are bothering Him with our requests, but God not only joyfully responds to our confession of sin, He also follows that up with divine guidance and presence and eye of care upon us. Amazing! Note that the goal is not merely forgiveness, but following forgiveness is a continued road of relationship with God! Repentance starts with confession, but flows into a life of following God’s instruction and teaching out of that sin into maturity.
The Warning Against Stubbornness
As God instructs, teaches, and counsels, we only have two options: respond in humility to His direction, or rebel against it. God warns us against being like a horse or mule that stubbornly oppose their master’s guidance. We love being in control and in charge, but our place with God should be one of submission, humility, and quick obedience. He always knows better, yet we love to question and stray. God’s intent is not merely obedience for obedience sake but that we might be near him! Sin, in contrast, leads us away from God but confession of sin is the road back to intimacy with God. Christians should know their forgiveness and adoption was purchased through the blood of Christ. Be not like a stubborn horse or a mule, but rather an attentive, blood-bought, forgiven child!
Song - Latifah Phillips & Joel Limpic
Production & Mix - Latifah Phillips
Art - Chris Wright