Psalms 32:1-5

Various people have various problems. Some people struggle financially, others struggle with health, and some have emotional and mental problems. If we were to open the floor to discussion, we could all share our own sad stories of pain, heartache, suffering, and trouble. While it’s true that we all have burdens which vary from person to person, there is one common denominator, and one reality with which we all struggle with day by day: We all must deal with sin!

In these verses, David is dealing with the sin he committed with Bathsheba. He tells us how he handled his sin and how he received cleansing. By the way, this psalm is most likely a companion to Psalm 51. In that psalm, David offers his prayer of confession and repentance. Here, he shares the lessons he learned in dealing with his sin. He is also fulfilling a vow he made to the Lord (Ps. 51:3). Let’s look at the lessons David learned and let them teach us.


Unconfessed sin produces problems in three realms of life:

A. The physical realm (verse 3). David tells us that his sin produced problems in his flesh. He says that he became like an old man physically. The sad fact is this: Sin will take a physical toll on the sinner! And I’m not just referring to drunks or drug addicts.

While David’s sin was unconfessed, there was something in him that was crying out in distress. There was something that was seeking relief. While he tried to hide his sin, the worry and fear that he would be found out took a physical toll on his body.

B. The spiritual realm (verse 4a). Whether we like to think about it or not, there is a heavy spiritual price to pay for sin in our lives! David says that God’s “hand was heavy” upon him. This refers to chastisement! Like it or not, believe it or not, God will chastise His children when they entertain sin in their lives (Prov. 3:11, 12; Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:5-11). If we refuse to deal with our sins, the Lord will deal with us.

C. The emotional realm (verse 4b). David tells us that he has dried up! Just like the ground after an extended drought, he has dried completely up. What a picture of the believer who has sin in his life! This is a picture of one who has lost his joy! This brings to mind problems in the emotional realm of life! There are many people today who are suffering emotionally simply because they have unconfessed sin in their lives.


The pattern for confronting sin in our lives revolves around the word “confess.” The way to get sin taken care of is to confess it. What does it mean to confess? The word itself means “to throw down or to cast down.” In the New Testament, the word “confess” carries the idea of “agreement.” When we confess a sin, we are throwing it down before the Lord and saying the same thing about it that He has said. This verse reveals how confession is to be practiced by a child of God.

In confessing his sins, David used three words to describe the mess he had gotten himself into.

A. Confess the existence of our sins. David says that he “acknowledged” that there was sin in his life. This word means “to know and perceive and to make known to others.” Basically, this word teaches us that we must face up to the fact of our own sin, and then we must admit that sin before God!

The first word David used to describe his sin was the word “sins.” This refers to man’s deviation. The word means “to miss the mark.” It is an archery term that refers to an arrow missing the target (Rom. 3:23). Who among us would not admit that we are guilty of missing the mark of God’s holiness?

B. Confess the extent of our sins. We need to get honest about the fact that sin has invaded every nook and cranny of our lives! It prevents us from being the servants of God we ought to be. David simply did what always needs to be done with sin: he pulled back the covers and revealed his sin in all of its ugliness and rottenness. David got honest about his sin, and that is what it takes to make things right (Prov. 28:13).

The second word David uses is “transgression.” This refers to man’s defiance. It means “to step over the boundaries.” We commit transgressions when we know something is wrong and do it anyway. It is high-handed sin, and it is open rebellion against God (Isa. 53:6).

C. Confess the error of our sins. The third word used by David is the word “iniquity.” This word speaks of man’s distortion. This word means “crookedness, or that which is bent.” It refers to the natural bent in man toward evil! Our old sinful nature is always striving to do that which is wrong. This was Paul’s problem (Rom. 7:13-25), and it is our problem as well!


What does the Lord say to those who are willing to confess their sins? The first two verses of this chapter answer that question. Notice that David says that the person who has dealt with his sins is “blessed.” This word means “happy”! Three blessings come into the life of the one who is honest about his sins and casts them down before the Lord.

A. It brings cleansing. David tells us that those who will confess their sins will experience “forgiveness” and will have their sins “covered.” The word “forgiveness” is an interesting word; it means “to lift up and bear away” (1 John 1:9).

B. It brings closeness. Verse 2 speaks of God not “imputing” iniquity to a person. This is an accounting word and means “to account or to reckon.” This simply reminds us that when our sins have been taken care of according to God’s pattern, He does not hold those sins against us.

C. It brings consecration. Notice that David says the forgiven person has no “guile” in his spirit. That is, there is no more “treachery.” There are no more attempts to pull anything over on God. The sinner is honest and, as a result, his whole life grows cleaner and more holy before the Lord.


Notice that, by the end of this psalm, David had his shout back! He was able to worship and praise the Lord again. Why? Because he solved his sin problem in the right way.

What you need to do is confess that you are a sinner and acknowledge your need for salvation through Jesus Christ. If you want forgiveness, it is available now. Will you get honest about your sins? Will you solve the sin problem now?