Short Meditations on the Psalms: Psalm 32

Psalm 32  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
This Psalm is one of great value to the soul. A pardoned sinner rehearses his experience; and in this form the most precious truth is conveyed. It may be called the utterance of a sinner in present spiritual resurrection, as the preceding had been of Jesus in actual resurrection. The sinner celebrates the blessedness of his deliverance from the pit, from the guilt of sin, and from the power of an unhumbled, guileful heart. Even the temptation to be guileful is gone—the motive of secresy is removed. “Pride,” as one has said, “heretofore the guardian of the evil arcana of the soul, is expelled from his trust, and made to leave all things open to scrutiny. The time is the time of inquiry and judgment; and the result is that peace and confidence, that stillness of the spirit, which is never enjoyed until the heart of man has dealt righteously with itself.” This is what we get here—the fruit of the spirit of confession, and the application to the conscience by faith of the value and the blood of Jesus. The joy and confidence of such a risen soul are set forth. The voice of the Lord is then heard for a moment, breaking in with a rich promise; and at the close, this risen sinner addresses words of admonition to others, as in the preceding Psalm the risen Jesus closed by doing the same.
This is the suited experience or utterance of every pardoned soul, and was, no doubt, eminently that of David. Great value is given to it in Romans 4. Every one that is “godly” (Psa. 32:66For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. (Psalm 32:6)), whose religion is according to God, finds his confidence springing from the truth or doctrine conveyed by this experience of David.
And Nathanael’s “guilelessness” was the guilelessness of this Psalm 1 believe, and not of mere natural disposition (John 1:4747Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! (John 1:47)). He had been under the fig-tree in the spirit of this Psalm, as a convicted one, pouring out his heart, and that had freed his spirit from guile; for here we learn that a confessing spirit is a guileless spirit. The Lord, on seeing him, owns him in this character, and Nathanael does not refuse the salutation. Jesus had been in the secret of his soul while under the tree (as he was in the secret of Zaccheus’s soul in the sycamore), and they meet together, as the Lord and the suppliant meet in this very blessed Psalm.
He will thus be met still. He knew this guileless Israelite without Philip’s introduction; and Jesus still, in spirit, converses with the burdened soul that would pour out its convictions in the solitary place, or under the distant shade (as of yonder fig-tree) to which conscience has separated it.