“For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to You, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.”(Psalm 32:3-5 ESV)
We are not often silent before God. We usually have a lot to say to Him, but there may be an exception to our constant prayers. As we consider our sins, we often have nothing to say. As a result of that silence, we share the distress the psalmist experienced, feeling the heavy hand of God calling us to repentance. Lost in guilt, we groan and feel as though our bones are wasting away. Struggling though sleepless nights, our strength fails.
As the Holy Spirit moves us to repent, we break our silence. We admit our guilt and confess our sins to God, and He freely and fully forgives our sins. We are not condemned because Jesus was condemned, not for any sins of His own, but for our sins. As He hung helpless on the cross, Jesus’ “bones wasted away” and His groans echoed through that dark day as His strength dried up. He suffered as the psalmist had foretold: “I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it is melted within My breast; My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue sticks to My jaws; You lay Me in the dust of death … they have pierced My hands and feet” (Psalm 22:14-15, 16b ESV). God’s heavy hand of judgment fell on His innocent Son as Jesus suffered the penalty of death that we deserved. By God’s grace through faith in Jesus, we can say without hesitation, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” confident in His response to us: “You forgave the iniquity of my sin.”
When we uncover our iniquity, God covers those sins in Jesus’ blood. Hearing the Word of the Gospel, we receive forgiveness, assured of God’s grace in Christ Jesus. We touch and taste His forgiveness as we receive Jesus’ body and blood in His Holy Supper. We do not keep silent about our sin and we do not want to be silent about the forgiveness we have in Jesus. In fact, the Lord Himself has commanded us to talk about these things, as He told the disciples on the road to Emmaus: “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His Name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:46b-47 ESV). To a world still lost in sin, we have something to say!
We pray: Lord, forgive my sins and lead me to walk with You in newness of life. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on September 4, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights
1. What does talking to God freely look like for you?
2. What happened to the psalmist when he didn’t speak to God? What happened when he did?
3. What is it about receiving Holy Communion that benefits believers and strengthens their faith?