In Edgar Allan Poe’s famous short story, "The Tell-Tale Heart," the narrator is haunted by his conscience after murdering an elderly man. He had committed the perfect crime, carefully dismembering the body, and hiding the various pieces under the floorboards. No one would ever find out, yet the murderer keeps hearing the incessant beating of the man’s heart. Ultimately the narrator could not escape from his guilt and conscience.
In our scripture ready for today, David rejoices in confessed sin. How clean and fresh is the feeling of God’s forgiveness! Yet David also speaks of wasting away with guilt when he harbored unconfessed sin in his life. As you read today, is there any sin sapping away your life? Or have you experienced the refreshing fine flush of forgiveness that comes from a sinner redeemed and cleansed by Christ?
Of David. A maskil.
1 Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord does not count against them
and in whose spirit is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night
your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
the guilt of my sin.
6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
will not reach them.
7 You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
9 Do not be like the horse or the mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you.
10 Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the Lord’s unfailing love
surrounds the one who trusts in him.
11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
sing, all you who are upright in heart! (Psalm 32)