“THE SONG OF A SOUL SET FREE
JAMES SERIES 59-16
One day which was just like all the other days, the generals of King David’s cabinet made their way to the palace. Walking the cobbled streets up the winding way to the palace as they did each morning. Arriving at the huge stone citadel they expected to be sent away by the frustrated and depressed King of Israel. His chambers were usually dark, unlike the old days when he was up at the dawn . . . but before they could get any further in their usual confused fog at the change in David – it struck them. One by one with incredulous faces they looked up.
There he was. The sweet psalmist of Israel, perched on the steps of his throne, harp in hand, face tilted reverently upward, tears streaming down his face. He was back. David was back, and so was his song. Like a freshly dug well gushing in a parched desert the generals dropped to the floor. Like the days of old their hearts began to burn with adoring love to God. Work was set aside, worship was their passion. Soon workers, servants, aides, guests, nobles, all took their places in the court of God’s king. David got his song back.
And what a song it must have been. It was the song of a soul set free. One Psalm may capture that initial gratitude of liberation David must have felt. Listen to Psalm 40 So that is what David did. I personally think Psalm 40 is his testimony at the relief of forgiveness. Listen to him in Psalm 40:1-17:
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
1 I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me,And heard my cry.
2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,And established my steps.
3 He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,And will trust in the Lord.
4 Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust,
And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
5 Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.
6 Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;My ears You have opened.
Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
7 Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
8 I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart.”
9 I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness
In the great assembly; Indeed, I do not restrain my lips,
O Lord, You Yourself know.
10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth
From the great assembly.
11 Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord;
Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me.
12 For innumerable evils have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up;
They are more than the hairs of my head; Therefore my heart fails me.
13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; O Lord, make haste to help me!
14 Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion
Who seek to destroy my life; Let them be driven backward and brought to dishonor Who wish me evil.
15 Let them be confounded because of their shame,
Who say to me, “Aha, aha!”
16 Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let such as love Your salvation say continually,
“The Lord be magnified!”
17 But I am poor and needy;Yet the Lord thinks upon me.
You are my help and my deliverer;Do not delay, O my God.
But to really experience the wonder of David’s deliverance from the vice grip of sin open with me to that climactic moment when God gave back to David His joy, His peace and His new song! Look at II Samuel 11 the last verse: Swollen with the putrid puss of sin David’s wounded soul throbbed with the long incubated infection of self-righteousness. One day when that crushing weight of sin brought David to near collapse, God sent his word to confront David.
In walked the prophet Nathan who said what God told him to say. Read with me the report: 2 Samuel 11:27-12:14 And when her mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord. Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor.2 “The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds.3 “But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him.4 “And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”5 So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die!6 “And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.” 7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul.8 ‘I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!9 ‘Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon.10 ‘Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’11 “Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.12 ‘For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’ ”13 So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.14 “However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.”
- David Desensitized his conscience by incomplete obedience II Sam 5:13
- David Relaxed his grip on personal purity II Sam 11:1
- David Fixated his heart on physical desires v. 2
- David Rationalized his mind about wrong decisions v. 3
- David Decended his life into lustful sin v. 4
- David Destroyed his testimony by the sin of a moment of stolen pleasure.
What a horrible thing sin is. It deceives with all those glittering promises. It destroys with deadly accuracy. What did we see last time? When you have been defeated David is inspired of God to tell us four steps we can take to come back to God.
WE MUST – FOCUS ON GOD‘S CHARACTER: HE IS EXALTED EVEN IN OUR SIN (51:1-4)
- The Lord can RENEW OUR RELATIONSHIP v. 1
- The Lord can WASH US CLEAN v. 2
- The Lord can REMOVE THE ROADBLOCK v. 3
- The Lord can UTTERLY FORGIVE v. 4
WE MUST – FOCUS ON OUR CHARACTER: WE ARE SINFUL (51:5-9)
- As Sinners we show our nature, our choice and confirm God’s declaration. v. 5
- As Sinners we need truthfulness v. 6
- As sinners we need cleansing v. 7
- As sinners we need joyfulness v. 8
- As sinners we need fellowship with our God v. 9
WE MUST – FOCUS ON GOD‘S WORK: HE IS RENEWING (51:10-13)
- God is washing our hearts v. 10 [Heb 9.14; 10.22]
- God is restoring our walk in the Spirit v. 11
- God is renewing the fruit of the Spirit v. 12
- God is preparing us for further ministry v. 13
WE MUST – FOCUS ON OUR WORK: WE MUST REPENT (51:14-19)
- Call sin what it is v. 14 (David murdered Uriah)
- Talk to God v. 15 (Psalm 32 David had dried up spiritually)
- Experience true contrition not mere externalism v. 16-17
- Begin zealous worship anew and afresh v. 18-19
What a great lesson. What a joy to get a new song. But back to Psalm 51. Look at David’s promise to the Lord: Psalm 51 To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba v. 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You. Where are the lessons David learned in this horrible pit of sin? Forever recorded in Psalm 32 “The Song of a soul set free”
- David sings with DELIGHT when his SINS WERE CLEANSED v. 1-2 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit.
- David sings in DESPAIR when his SINS WERE CONCEALED v. 3-4 When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah
- David sings of DELIVERANCE when his SINS WERE CONFESSED v. 5-7 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah 6 For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters They shall not come near him. 7 You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah
- David sings about his DESIRE that his SINFUL WAYS BE CRUSHED v. 8-11 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. 9 Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you. 10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him. 11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
David’s Song of DELIGHT when his SINS WERE CLEANSED v. 1-2
1. PULLED OFF: “Forgiven” means literally to have our sin lifted off. As Pilgrim it rolls off and into Christ’s tomb. “My sin oh the bliss . . .”. We are being crushed by any sins we keep around. They suffocate, smother and sqush the very life of our soul. But there is a Redeemer who can set us free. And to his only hope, David fled.
2. SHEILDED FROM: “Covered” speaks of the strong imagery in the events of the day of atonement. On that day the High priest took the blood of an animal and sprinkled it onto the mercy seat. Above the mercy seat was the presence of God portrayed by the outstretched arms of the cherubim. Beneath the lid of the ark was the tablets portraying God’s divine law. In essence, the blood stood between a holy God and the sinners who broke His law, averting His wrath. David cried for joy when the wrath of God was turned away from him. So our sins are covered away by the blood of Jesus shed for us!
3. CLEARED OUT: “Not Counted” speaks of a list of debts no longer held against us. David had become utterly bankrupted by his sin. The bills were piling up, mounting like a flood and drowning him. Desire, deceit, cruel deception, cunning craftiness and shameless murder all charged heavy debts to his soul. And now in sheer delight all the mountain of impossible debt is cleared from the ledger. “My sins are gone, and shall not be remembered, God in mercy tenderly forgives.”
- God cleansed David’s Sin that smothers: now they were forgiven “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven”
- God cleansed David’s Sin that soils: now they were covered by the cleansing blood. “Whose sin is covered”
- God cleansed David’s Sin that steals: now they were not imputed to his account as debts. “2 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity”
- God cleansed David’s Sin that slithers: now there was no guile. “And in whose spirit there is no deceit.”
David’s Song of DESPAIR when his SINS WERE CONCEALED v. 3-4
FIVE GREEK WORDS FOR SIN:
1. SHOOT AWRY – HAMARTIA in the New Testament [#266] 174 x and most often translated “sin” means to ‘miss the mark’. It is the most often used word for sin in the NT. A word picture is to shoot an arrow and miss the mark. All are guilty of hamartia [Romans 3:23] and fall short. Our target is of course the perfection of God. [Matthew 6:48]. This holds the idea of our inability, helplessness to hit God’s mark.
2. STEP ACROSS – PARABASIS used 7 x in the New Testament [#3847] means ‘to step across the line’ and is most often translated in English “transgression”. God is the one who has drawn the line between right and wrong. sin is when we cross that line. This is a bit more flagrant, planned incursion into the area off limits. As in Gal 3:19 and I Tim 2:14.
3. SERIOUS REBELLION – ANOMIA means lawlessness. Used 15 x in the New Testament [#458] it is most often translated “iniquity” as in Mt. 7:23. This is an open, violent rebellion against God’s way. it is a serious progression.
4. SWEPT AWAY – PARAPTOMA used 23 x in the New Testament [#3900] and often translated “offense” or “trespass” means ‘to slip or fall’. In Matthew 6:14-15 it is translated “trespass”. It is the idea of being taken in the passion of the moment and yielding to the desire, whatever it may be.
5. SUNK IN DEBT – OPTHEILMA is the word “debt” used 2 x in the New Testament [#3783] as in Matthew 6:12. It speaks of sin as a failure to pay God what is due. The meaning from the uses in the NT is that every time we sin we owe God a consequence to that sin. As Revelation 20:11-12 says, the record books will be opened. All whose debts are outstanding will pay for them eternally. Only Jesus can wipe out, satisfy your debt.
FOUR HEBREW WORDS FOR SIN IN PSALM 32: Sin is such an offense to God that He has to use 15 different words in the Hebrew Old Testament just to describe it. Four of them are here in David’s song. When David stole his neighbor Uriah’s little ewe lamb for his already overflowing banqueting table he defied the rules God had laid down. HE WAS:
1. DEFYING GOD’S RULE IS SIN. Transgression (Peshah): ‘a going away’ or ‘departure’ or ‘rebellion’ against God and his authority. This is a picture of a relationship with God that is rebelled against.
2. MISSING GOD’S MARK IS SIN. (chattath) is same as hamartia in greek ‘coming short’ or ‘falling short’ as in an arrow falling short. The target is God’s law and sin is missing the mark on the target. This is a picture of failing to measure up to God’s Divine Law.
3. DEFACING GOD’S IMAGE IS SIN. Iniquity (hawon) means ‘corrupt’ or ‘twisted’ or ‘crooked’. This word pictures what sin does to us inside as it warps and ruins us.
4. DECEIVING GOD’S PEOPLE IS SIN. David says “guile” and he means it. He was hunted down by the Holy Spirit, haunted by his own conscience through the night watches, but haughty and “business as usual” in the daytime.
- David’s Concealed sin sickened him “v. 3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old”
- David’s Concealed sin saddened him “Through my groaning all the day long”
- David’s Concealed sin burdened him “4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;”
- David’s Concealed sin stifled him “My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah” (like sun parched brown grass)
David’s Song of DELIVERANCE when his SINS WERE CONFESSED v. 5-7
- David acknowledged his responsibility for the sin “v.5 I acknowledged my sin to You”
- David acknowledged God’s ability to see “And my iniquity I have not hidden”
- David acknowledged God’s desire to forgive “I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
- David acknowledged God’s power to remove sin “And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah”
- David acknowledged his great opportunity.
1. Now he understood the Lord is Approachable “v. 6 For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You In a time when You may be found;”
2. Now he understood the Lord is Trustable “; Surely in a flood of great waters They shall not come near him.”
3. Now he understood he could Rest in the Lord “v. 7 You are my hiding place”
4. Now he understood he could Delight in the Lord “You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah”
- David now longs God YOU LEAD ME “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.”
- David now longs God YOU GUARD ME “v. 9 Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you.”
- David now longs God YOU TEACH ME “v. 10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked;”
- David now longs God YOU SURROUND ME “But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.”
- David now longs God YOU FILL ME “v. 11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”
David nicely summarizes this Psalm with the use of an emphasis word SELAH. In todays language it mean, “Hey, look at this!”
Psalm 32:1-11 A Psalm of David. A Contemplation.
1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long.
4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer.
Selah = GOD CONVICTED ME
5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
Selah = GOD LOVES TO HEAR MY CONFESSION
6 For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You
In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters
They shall not come near him.
7 You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.
Selah = GOD OFFERS ME CONFIDENT LIVING
#201 Grace greater than all our sin
Where sin abounded