Behind - The Decline before Being Forgiven

Bible Book: Psalms  32 : 3-5
Subject: Forgivness; Confession; Blessing of Forgiveness
Series: Behind
[Editor's Note: Please be aware that this sermon is a continuation of a previous sermon. Look for the sermon entitled "The Delight of Forgiveness" by Johnny Hunt on www.sermoncity.com to see the first portion of the message.]
Introduction

"God does not permit His children to sin successfully.” Charles Spurgeon

“Sin is a serpent and he that covers sin does but keep it warm, that it may sting the more fiercely, and disguise the venom and the vulgarity there the more effectually.” John Donne

This text speaks of the Lord’s disciplining (chastening) of David for about a year and how he was made miserable until he stopped lying, humbled Himself before God, and confessed his sins in repentance.

Chastening (disciplining) isn’t a judge punishing a criminal; it’s a loving Father dealing with His disobedient children to bring them willingly to the place of surrender.

The Lord’s discipline is a biblical reminder of our genuine faith and proof of His love and desire that we partake of His character (Hebrews 12:5-11)

Forgiven sin is better than accumulated wrath. The remission of sin is indefinitely to be preferred before all that glitter and the glare of this world’s prosperity. The gratification of creature passion and earthly desire is elusive, a shadow and a fiction; but the blessedness of the justified, the blessedness of the man to whom God imparted righteousness is substantial and true.

Psalm 32:2 - “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit.”

i. A Promise To Encourage Your Embrace

“For I will forgive the iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Jeremiah 31:34

ii. A Prayer To Encourage Your Embrace

Our Father and our God. Author of love, I throw myself upon Your holy grace. Only You, Lord can pardon my offense against You, for it is Your law I transgress. Thank you for your underserved mercy, forgiveness, and love. Thank you for Jesus, who died to redeem me. Amen - Note: J. C. Viger

Last week: “The Delight of Forgiveness,” now

II. THE DECLINE BEFORE FORGIVENESS 3-5

Forgiveness is not cheap, even though it is free. Though David did not pay for forgiveness, he did pay for his unforgiveness! It cost him dearly. Remember, “sin will take you farther than you wish to go, keep you longer than you wish to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.”

David shows that no amount of expressive sacrifices or hard working service could take away his sin (Psalm 51:16-17). Our own good works or even our good intentions, can never solve the sin question.

A. Let’s Talk About David’s Silence 3

This is a picture of the constancy of conviction.

Psalm 51:8 - “Make me hear joy and gladness/That the bones You have broken may rejoice.”

This is a DIFFICULT time in David’s life, but his difficulty is personally brought on by his DENIAL and silence.

“when I kept silent, my bones grew old” David was probably in his mid 40’s to 50 years of age. He was known as a strong warrior up to this point. Yet, his sin that’s unconfessed and heart that’s unrepentant is causing him to feel sick and old.

“groaning”- roaring; loud on the inside.

David’s silence affected him in at 3 areas:

1. Physical Toll

He had been a healthy man, now sin and conscience sapped his physical strength.

2. Emotional Toll

He had been a happy man, the sweet singer of Israel. Now he knows sobs and groans.

3. Mental Toll

Since David chose to not deal with his sin before God, God was dealing with him. You will deal one way or another. “all the day long” – couldn’t get his sin out of his mind.

B. Let’s Talk About David’s Summer 4

The “hand of God” was heavy upon David, so instead of feeling fresh and full of vigor, he was dried up like a plant during a drought. His heart was spiritually dehydrated.

Psalm 32 is a teaching Psalm

Psalm 38 is a remembering Psalm

David’s state could very well seem hopeless.

Psalm 38:2 - “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.

David sees God as the Divine Anchor

Psalm 38:3-6 - “There is no soundness in my flesh/ Because of Your anger, nor any health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds are foul and festering because of my foolishness. I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.”

David’s vitality was sapped; he was utterly spent. This is a dangerous place to find yourself. Different roads lead to this place. It’s a place where you are more vulnerable than ever.

Vulnerable - easily hurt or harmed physically, mentally or emotionally. Open to attack, harm or damage.

Synonyms: endangered, exposed, open, susceptible

This does not excuse you from being

RESPONSIBLE but serves as REVELATION of where you are. In David’s life, his sin led him to his summer drought. In my life, my summer drought led me to potential trouble through my vulnerability. Did I commit adultery? No! Was I susceptible? Yes! Sin, regardless of how you get there, is a vulnerable/dangerous place!

God’s discipline weighed so heavily that the psalmist nearly succumbed under its pressure. God’s discipline, like the hot, dry Mediterranean summer climate dried up the psalmist’s vigor like a plant in the heat of summer deprived of water.

Note the contrast to the Godly man. Psalm 1:3 - “He shall be like a tree/ Planted by the rivers of water,/ That brings forth its fruit in its season,/ Whose leaf also shall not wither;/ And whatever he does shall prosper.”

David will not and did not express relief until he recognized sins for what it was.

Remember - There will be no change, until the pain of staying the same, becomes greater than the pain of change.

David could clearly see that his painful plight was due to his personal sin; it was the consequences of his choice.

C. Let’s Talk About David’s Sin 5

Here he comes clean before God

1. Sin Admitted.

Do you realize that one must plead guilt in order to receive a pardon?

“I acknowledge my sin to You.”

2. Iniquity Awareness.

“And my iniquity I have not hidden” – to uncover, to bring to the light.

I John 1:5-7 - “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

Proverbs 28:13 - “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”

3. Transgressions Agreement

“I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord - Confess is to say the same thing; speak

the same thing, to be in agreement.

In Sin David was falling.

In Iniquity David was rebelling.

In Transgression David was straying.

4. All The Above Forgiven

“And You forgive the iniquity of my sin”

SELAH- ponder this, think about this, calls for meditation.

The Lord forgave the “guilt of my sins”

Richard Owen Roberts

Three Directions

1. Upward “Poor in Spirit” - Matthew 5:3

2. Inward “Mourn” - Matthew 5:4

3. Outward “Hunger and thirst for righteousness” - Matthew 5:6