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Bible: What Does Psalms 28-33 Teach About God's Forgiveness, Sovereignty and Faithfulness?

Updated on September 15, 2016

Is God Sovereign?

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Psalms 28-33: The Blessedness of Forgiveness, God's Sovereign Control and Faithfulness to His People

Two decided moods exist here.

First, David shows concern that he might die an ignoble death like “the workers of iniquity” because God has kept His peace (vv. 1-3).

Consequently, he demands that the LORD judge his enemies for their evil works, and he is certain that He will do so (vv. 4-5).

Second, David exults in joyful praise because God has answered his prayer (vv. 6-7).

The psalmist also asks the LORD to ensure the spiritual welfare of the covenant community (“Save Your people,” “bless Your inheritance,” “Shepherd them,” and “Bear them up forever”) [vv. 8-9].

[Sometimes God is silent for a long time; however, when He finally answers your prayer, you should praise Him, whether you understand or not].

Psalm 29

Addressing certain “mighty ones” directly, David commands them to give proper glory or honor to the LORD, and worship Him with a pure attitude (vv. 1-2).

Throughout the psalm, the poet alternates between the voice of the LORD and the LORD Himself as having great power and majesty over the waters (vv. 3-4), the cedars (vv. 5-6), lightning (v. 7), the wilderness (v. 8), and the forests (v. 9).

God presided over the Flood (v. 10a), and, as universal King, will one day usher in an era of peace for His people (vv. 10b-11).

[What Omnipotence says, goes; therefore, His people ought to praise Him].



The Suffering of Job


Psalm 30

According to the superscription, the people sang this song at the dedication of the house of David.

The psalmist praises God for rescuing him from his enemies after He had healed and spared him from death (vv. 1-3).

Then David addresses the saints, exhorting them to praise and thank the LORD for His eternal grace and mercy (vv. 4-5).

From his own life he recalls how strong he stood when God favored him, and how impotently when He withdrew (vv. 6-7).

In his fervent request for mercy, David tries to convince the LORD of the profit of keeping him alive: he would be a continual testimony to His faithfulness (vv. 8-10).

Verses 11-12 record the results of his deliverance: joy, praise, and thanksgiving (v. 12).

[Does God benefit/profit somehow by our praise?

How much glory do our feeble testimonies bring to the LORD]?

Psalm 31

Needing deliverance, David asks his Trust to hear him and be his Hideout again (vv. 1-2).

Certainly He already is his Protector; therefore, the psalmist now relies on Him for guidance and rescue (vv. 3-4), yielding himself to God's will (v. 5) and recalling previous mercies (vv. 6-8).

[Is there a process involved in yielding yourself?

If so, what may it be?]

Verse nine begins a more detailed account of his present distress.

David suffers great physical (v. 10), emotional (v. 10), and social adversity (vv. 11-13)—very reminiscent of Job.

Yet he repeats his continued trust in the LORD (v. 14), prays for deliverance from his persecutors (vv. 15-16), and at the same time calls down judgment upon them (vv. 17-18).

The grateful servant extols the goodness of God, which He predestined true believers to receive (v. 19); this “goodness” consists of protection in "the secret place of His presence" (v. 20).

He also blesses Him for His kindness in answering his prayer while he was without hope (vv. 21-22).

Turning to believers, the king directs them to love God because of His justice and mercy, and to be strong (vv. 23-24).

[David exemplifies the godly ways to respond both during and after a time of suffering].

Forgiveness: Can I Earn It?

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The Blessedness of Forgiveness

Psalm 32

David pronounces the forgiven man blessed (cf. Ps. 1:1).

By using four synonymous terms for sin—transgression, sin, iniquity, guile—this Old Testament saint shows how completely the LORD deals with the problem of an individual's sin when He forgives him (vv. 1-2).

[The apostle Paul borrows verses one and two in pointing out that God imputes Christ's righteousness to our account (see Rom. 4:7-8)].

He recalls a specific, personal experience that taught him about forgiveness. Refusal to confess his sin brought him physical pain, weariness, and divine pressure (vv. 3-4); however, when he admitted his wrongdoing, revealed his proneness to do evil, and agreed with the LORD that he crossed a forbidden boundary, God forgave “the iniquity of my sin” (v. 5).

[What does it mean to forgive “the iniquity of my sin”?]

David regards his own example as sufficient reason for everyone professing godliness to seek the LORD for deliverance during “a flood of great waters” (vv. 6-7).

Addressing his audience, the psalmist confidently directs everyone to listen to him (Him?) for guidance (v. 8), to forsake stubbornness and fear (v. 9), to trust in God for mercy (v. 10), and to rejoice in Him (v. 11).

[That they can do absolutely nothing to merit the forgiveness of God constitutes one of the most difficult truths for stubborn, prideful, human hearts to learn.

People must admit that forgiveness comes solely from grace.

Once they learn that lesson and truly accept it with their whole being, what joy that knowledge produces!]

The Wonders of Creation


Psalm 33

Adding to his final thought from Psalm 32, “Rejoice!”, David provides a reason for believers to display such an attitude: their praise is beautiful to hear, especially when a stringed orchestra accompanies it (vv. 1-2)!

A further exhortation to sing and play in an excellent manner follows (v. 3).

Why should believers praise Him?

They should praise Him because both His word and His deeds manifest faithfulness, righteousness, and goodness (vv. 4-5).

In his introduction to the subject of Yahweh's word and deeds, the psalmist discourses about God's creation by verbal decree (vv. 6, 9) and His control of the sea (v. 7): actions that should command universal fear and wonder (v. 8).

The LORD also renders ineffectual the plans of the peoples (v. 10—perhaps a reference to Babel, Gen. 11:4), but establishes His own (v. 11).

His chosen ones are indeed blessed (v. 12).

God's omnipresence (vv. 13-14) and omniscience (v. 15) keep tabs on man's doings.

Man should know that he cannot save himself (vv. 16-17), and that Yahweh delivers from death only those who fear Him (vv. 18-19).

The believers' hopeful waiting on the LORD causes joy and anticipation of more revelations of His covenant love (vv. 20-22).

[Acknowledgment of the LORD's sovereignty in creation and history should lead the believer both to praise and to rejoice in Him].

© 2012 glynch1


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