Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Penitential Psalms

IE:  The Confessing Psalms

Penitence = sorrow for sins, confessing sins.
Some entire psalms, some just portions of a psalm.

Written/read wherein the author (or reader)
       Confesses Sin - (and/or sinfulness)
and  Seeks forgiveness.

Typical elements of Penitential psalm include:
   (1)  recognition of sins (trespasses) and sin's seriousness  - commission and omission
  (2)  Confession and contrition  (sorrow, remorse, truly sorry for) - big difference between confession sin and being sorry for sin.
  (3)  request for God's mercy, forgiveness, and restoration of relationship.

Examples:  Psm. 32:1-7 - what has happened because of sin
                 Psm. 38:1-8, 18, 21-22
                 Psm. 130:1-8 - there is redemption
                 Psm. 143:1-2, 7-8

The Classic penitential psalm = Psm. 51 - central concept of being sorry for sins.
Psm.  51:1 - the introduction   2 Sam. 11-12 - the story
The Psalm - Psm. 51:1-19

So...... What can we learn about sin from Psalms?

#1)  Sin is very, very serious - affront to God, a detriment to the sinner, a detriment to society

#2)  God is Just  (in dealing with sin)
Example:  Old Testament Law taught - HE = Right   I = Wrong!!  Therefore, I deserve punishment!!  - Contrast today = I deserve blessing!!

#3)  I should therefore admit, confess, repent.....
*WITH Contrition   Job 42:5-6
Isa. 66:2 - (God speaking)  Matt. 5:3
(*if  not sorry??  Say so!!! He knows!!)

#4)  I am unable to rectify the situation  (caused by my sin)  ie:  I can't fix it, set it right!

Therefore, is reasonable to request...
(1)  Grace and Mercy - Psm. 51:1
Old Testament saints were aware of God's Justice AND Mercy!!  - Psm. 103:8-14

(2)  Forgiveness and cleansing
Because  sin is more than violation = spot, stain, blemish!!  (it colors me)    Psm. 51:7

(3)  Restoration  - because sin disrupts fellowship!  Psm. 51:12

(4)  Transformation  - Psm. 51:10  ("help me become who and what I should be....")

What we learn from Psalms is confirmed elsewhere in the scriptures!

What we don't learn from Psalms are the specifics of God's plan to deal with our sin(s)... ie:  THE GOSPEL (the plan)

Bridge Illustration = this is how God's going to get it done.
(1)  God's Love - John 3:16
(2)  God's Justice (judgment) - 1 Pet. 2:24
(3)  God's desire for reconciliation
He initiated, He built the bridge/made the way!
1 Pet. 3:18

In Psalms we learn (1) not to hide, deny, ignore our sins  and (2) come to God for forgiveness, cleansing, restoration.

from the Gospel we learn .. all this made possible through (the Person of) Jesus Christ.

So... if have never crossed -  (1) give it serious consideration and 2 cross over!

If have crossed - the Psalms should speak clearly to you!!!

Final words:  1 John 1:8-9, 2:1-2


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