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Of David. A maskil.


[Preliminary Comments: This is one of three psalms designated a ‘maskil' and there are various others designated as maskils of individuals. There is uncertainty over the meaning but it is suggested that is means ‘a psalm of understanding' i.e. one that reveals theological truths.

We haven't read of ‘blessings' since Psa 1 & 2, and now they occur in this and the next two psalms before more references in Psa 40 & 41. Verses 1 & 2 really summarise what the rest of the psalm is about – the blessings that come from God with forgiveness and cleansing. See end notes.]


v.1,2 Blessings that come with forgiveness


v.1   Blessed is the one
     whose transgressions are forgiven,
     whose sins are covered.
v.2  Blessed is the one
     whose sin the Lord does not count against them
     and in whose spirit is no deceit.


v.3-5 The order of blessing: silence, pressure from God, conviction, forgiveness


v.3  When I kept silent,
     my bones wasted away
     through my groaning all day long.
v.4  For day and night
     your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
     as in the heat of summer.

v.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.


v.6,7 Prayer is the pathway to God, and then relationship that protects


v.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.
v.7  You are my hiding place;
     you will protect me from trouble
     and surround me with songs of deliverance.


v.8,9 The Lord speaks: with that relationship comes teaching and discipline


v.8  I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
     I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
v.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.

v.10,11 Love flows to the one who trusts the Lord bringing much rejoicing


v.10  Many are the woes of the wicked,
     but the Lord 's unfailing love
     surrounds the one who trusts in him.

v.11  Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
     sing, all you who are upright in heart!



[Additional Thoughts: A relationship with the Lord flows with forgiveness [v.1,2] that follows repentance expressed in prayer [v.3-5]. The forgiven life is a blessed life [v.1,2]. We can remain silent and distant from the Lord but life presses in and wears us down and it is then that the wise repent of their isolation [v.3-5]. It is then that forgiveness flows and a whole new relationship with the Lord opens up that brings a new security [v.6,7]. Within that the Lord imparts teaching and discipline [v.8,9] to lead us in a new way of living that opens up the door to receive all of His love in a life of righteousness and rejoicing [v.10,11]. NB. 'Righteousness' is simply living as God reveals and that brings the blessing.]



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