The songwriter recalls that bleak season of life. He sings a lament of the time when the wheels almost totally came off the car (or the chariot, as the case might be). A time of great heaviness, never ending groaning, and insatiable emotional thirst. So much so that it felt as if his bones were wasting away and his strength was being dried up by an unrelenting heat. It was the season when he kept silent.
Silent about his sin. Having committed adultery with Bathsheba, and plotted the death of her husband, Uriah, David stubbornly refused to acknowledge his sin. If he ignored it, it would go away. If he rationalized it, it didn’t seem all that bad. If he twisted it, then the illicit affair and murderous act might be viewed as the deserved “perks” of his powerful position. So, he kept silent in that season. And it almost destroyed him.
The king’s “I’m ok, you’re ok” façade failed him. The guilt of his transgression weighed on him. The conviction of his sin drained him. The shame of his iniquity isolated him. Nothing seemed to go right. Everything seemed to be harder than it should be. God seemed against him.
It was his season of silence. It was the season that almost totally wrecked him. Cue the music in a minor key. Heavy sigh! Heavy, heavy, heavy sigh!
But then a turning point in the score of the music. The minor key fading as a major chord is struck. The darkness dispersing as dawn starts breaking. The cloud of ominous oppression lifting from his shoulders, as words of contrite confession begin forming on his lips.
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. Selah
(Psalm 32:5 ESV)
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. You took away and You lifted off the guilt and deserved punishment of my offense. You cleansed the destroying stain of my sin–sin not just against man, but against You, the LORD of all the earth.
And in breaking his silence, and that by the patience and kindness of God who leads men to repentance (Rom. 2:4), the bondage of guilt was broken. The cloud of shame evaporated. Where there was sorrow and lament, there emerged rejoicing and dancing. For, according to the psalmist, those who shed the season of silence are blessed.
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
(Psalm 32:1-2 ESV)
So often we count our blessings based on what we’ve been given. So often our happiness springs from what we have. But the songwriter’s sense of abundant well-being comes from what he had been forgiven, and from what he no longer had to carry. The record of transgression erased. The weight of iniquity lifted. The priced owed due to sin no longer held to his account.
Such is the song of those who confess their sin. Such is the condition of those whose sins have been forgiven through the finished work of the Lamb of God on the cross.
By His grace. For His glory.