Are You Happy With God?

Psalm 32  •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Psalms 32
It is a great comfort when we come to God’s word to find how very simply He steaks to us. He stoops to speak in such a manner as we can understand Him. One great fault with us is, that we are not simple enough with God. For God has been very simple in His dealings with man, and has adapted Himself to man’s feebleness, speaking and acting in such a way as to draw out his confidence towards Himself. Happy is it for the man with whom this is accomplished! How charming is the condescension of God! He who is so much above us and beyond us, whom by searching and by all our best efforts we could never find out has come near to us to make Himself known, and to win our confidence. Is it won in your case? Are you happy with God?
Thus we find that the “scriptures” are not wholly taken up with doctrine or precept, there is much more. For instance, in reading this Psalm we see that God has allowed David to detail for our benefit somewhat of his experience, and of God’s dealings with Him, and the exercises of soul through which he passed ere he entered into the blessings which God was leading him to, God in His goodness has anticipated all our need, and considered every groan and inquiry of the heart that seeks after Him.
What a comfort it is then to find in the scriptures the experience of a man of like passions as ourselves, and who says, “Come, I’ll tell you what I found. God to be for me when I discovered myself to be a sinner; I will tell you all that God said to me, and all I said to Him and the blessing I found at His hands!”
It is an important question, “What is God for us when we are sinners?” There is a vast difference between what we ought to be for God and what God is for us. The law spake of the former thing, the gospel tells us of the latter. Suppose I visit a dying many a man who has lived all his days without God, and I read the ten commandments to him, and press upon him what he ought to be for God, what would he say if he had any anxiety about the future? Would it not be this, “Tell me not at this late hour of what I should be for God, I know full well I have not been what I ought to have been, I own that I have added sin to sin and am guilty in God’s sight; and I know my life and time are gone, soon I shall have to appear before Him whom I have fled from all my days, but if you can tell me while I am still here what God is for a sinner, what He is for one that has hated him, if you can tell me that there is grace in His heart for me and that He receives such, you will bring comfort to my soul.”
Thus it is with all of us that inquire after Him. The thing that brings rest to our hearts is the knowledge of what God is and has done for us when we have been only sinners.
But there is a great difference between the blessing God has in store for us and the way by which we enter consciously into it. This latter thing is often a long process. Let us look at it.
There were three things (whatever else) took place with regard to man at his fall, as recorded in Genesis 3 Firstly, He lost confidence in God. Secondly, He became guilty. Thirdly, He left God to do his own will. Hence, when the grace of God meets a man, it meets him in that state, viz.: Doing his own will—guilty—and having no confidence in God—and with these three things God deals. He removes the guilt. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity,” verses 1-2. He restores confidence. “Thou art my hiding place,” verse 7—and He turns the man right round to do His will and to lead and instruct him in the way he should go. Accompanying this want of confidence in God, there is guile in the spirit of man, which leads him to hide up his sin from his conscience and from God—he will seek to excuse the sin or excuse himself, lay the blame on others and even justify himself—and worse than all, even seek to blame God for it. But if man seeks to pacify his conscience by excuses, that will never do for God. He must have “truth in the inward parts,” and remove guile from the heart. When God saves us He brings us into His thoughts about sin and about ourselves. We may kick against it for long, we may “keep silence” like David, verse 3—but we shall prove how God lays His hand heavily upon us until we confess to Him. We would naturally choose another way. The language of our hearts by nature is “let us off”— “let us escape the judgment,” that is all we want. But God’s way is different, blessed be His Holy Name. He brings us to right thoughts of sin, to be “partakers of His holiness,” and to condemn ourselves. We say, “I have sinned and am not worthy to be called Thy son.” We own we have forfeited every right to blessing and come back to cast ourselves on God. It is humbling for us, still it is the only way by which we enter into blessing. For notice, verse 5, when David acknowledges his sin to God and hides nothing, he finds God forgives the iniquity of his sin. God answers the confessing soul with full acquittal. Guile must be taken out of our hearts, and confidence restored. How hard is this process for flesh and blood. Still God will make man to own his state and his sin before Him, in whose presence all is manifest. Let none shrink from it.
But now let us look at what produces confidence in us to go to God to confess all without guile.
How is guile taken from our hearts? If we thought God was going to impute the sin to us and to condemn us for it we should keep away from Him, and if forced to meet Him we would seek to cover up and conceal our sin, or seek to tone it down in order to make ourselves more acceptable before Him, for we should reason thus, “The more I tell the greater will be my condemnation, the less I tell the better and safer it will be for me.”
Now, if God took up our sins with us we could never stand, we could never be justified, Psalms 130:33If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? (Psalm 130:3), but He comes to tell us that He took all up with Christ, and has been so satisfied and glorified that He freely forgives all trespasses.
He who knows all our sins and knows our life, having seen all our ways and counted all our steps, He who could justly have imputed our sins to us has come near to assure us that He laid all on Christ in order to justify us. It is through having confidence in His testimony to that, that we are made free to tell all our sin to Him, conscious that He knows all, that all our evil was a present thing to Him when He laid it on Christ, conscious too and resting in the truth which love has discovered to us that what distressed our conscience was what caused Christ His agony. We see all borne by Him, owned by Him to God for us. Thus we seek not to hide sin from God, which was all brought to light at the cross and judged there.
Lastly, God takes us thoroughly in hand. He turns us right round to Himself, with new desires and to do His will, and He says, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go. I will guide thee with mine eye.”