Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
<<A Psalm of David, Maschil.>> Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Ps 32:1-11. Maschil—literally, "giving instruction." The Psalmist describes the blessings of His forgiveness, succeeding the pains of conviction, and deduces from his own experience instruction and exhortation to others.
1, 2. (Compare Ro 4:6).
forgiven—literally, "taken away," opposed to retain (Joh 20:23).
covered—so that God no longer regards the sin (Ps 85:3).
Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
2. imputeth—charge to him, and treat him accordingly.
no guile—or, deceit, no false estimate of himself, nor insincerity before God (compare Ro 8:1).
When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
3, 4. A vivid description of felt, but unacknowledged, sin.
When—literally, "for," as in Ps 32:4.
For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
4. thy hand—of God, or power in distressing him (Ps 38:2).
moisture—vital juices of the body, the parching heat of which expresses the anguish of the soul. On the other figures, compare Ps 6:2, 7; 31:9-11. If composed on the occasion of the fifty-first Psalm, this distress may have been protracted for several months.
I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
5. A prompt fulfilment of the purposed confession is followed by a prompt forgiveness.
For 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.
6. For this—that is, my happy experience.
godly—pious in the sense of Ps 4:3.
a time—(Isa 55:6); when God's Spirit inclines us to seek pardon, He is ready to forgive.
floods, &c.—denotes great danger (Ps 18:17; 66:12).
Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
7. His experience illustrates the statement of Ps 32:6.
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
8. Whether, as most likely, the language of David (compare Ps 51:13), or that of God, this is a promise of divine guidance.
I will … mine eye—or, My eye shall be on thee, watching and directing thy way.
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
9. The latter clause, more literally, "in that they come not near thee"; that is, because they will not come, &c., unless forced by bit and bridle.
Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.
10. The sorrows of the impenitent contrasted with the peace and safety secured by God's mercy.
Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.
11. The righteous and upright, or those conforming to the divine teaching for securing the divine blessing, may well rejoice with shouting.