Listen | Watch | Psalm 32, 51
Dr. David Jeremiah is the inspiration for this series of messages. I have been reading his book, “Slaying the Giants in Your Life,” published by Thomas Nelson. I have also been inspired by the movie, “Jack the Giant Slayer.” After reading Dr. Jeremiah’s book, I concluded, “Jack is not really a giant slayer, but Jesus is!” Thus the title for my series, Jesus the Giant Slayer! And, I have learned that there is an invisible giant among us this morning, it is the giant of guilt.
Guilt is just like the ole’ boy that I heard about. He rented a tux to bury his brother in. The reminders from the tux rental store just kept coming. In a similar way, guilt reminds us over and over again that we have done something morally or ethically wrong. But here is what I have learned, those reminders can be good. The reminders motivate us to do something about our guilt.
Guilt will always hurt us (Psalm 32)
Psalm 32 describes the hurt in body, soul, and spirit that David experienced prior to confessing his sin. The following is some truth that I have learned.
Guilt is hard on God’s hearing v. 3
David was guilty, but there was no confession. David kept silent. I imagine David trying to carry on as if nothing had ever happened, but there was a giant in the room.
The one who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy. Proverbs 28:13
If I had known of [seen] any sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened to me. Psalm 66:18
It is so important that we learn to confess sin. Why? Because so many people depend on us to pray for them. I think about the families that want us to pray for their loved ones. They want us to pray for their healing, their salvation, their protection, etc. Yet, there is unconfessed sin in the church. Since there is unconfessed sin in the church, the Bible is clear that God is not listening to us. The Bible says, David groaned all day long. Groaning is an expression of pain. Groaning is an expression of distress. David was not groaning outwardly. David was groaning from the inside. When a person groans from the inside, it has a devastating effect. David said, “My bones waxed old” (v. 3). Typically, what we say concerning someone who is so stressed inwardly, “They’re growing old before their time.” They age even more than they are aware. And on top of everything, David found himself exiled from God. David’s sin had made God hard of hearing. God wasn’t listening to David anymore.
Guilt is horrible, filling our lives with hurt (v. 4)
David commanded an army. David ruled a kingdom. But David could not manage his own conscience. David felt trapped. His feelings were described as being “heavy.” There was a weight that was upon David. David was no longer dancing before the Lord. He was no longer leading Israel in praise. David’s freshness was gone, replaced by bitterness. Praise was replaced with anguish.
There is such a thing as false guilt. False guilt stems from a low self-esteem. There has been no moral law violated, yet you feel guilty. You need Jesus for sure, but you also need a therapist.
But David’s guilt was not false guilt. David’s was true guilt. A moral law had been violated and David was guilty. Because David had violated a moral law, God allowed his life to be filled with pain. In Psalm 32, we do not find David living the “Abundant Life.” In Psalm 32, we find David living a defeated life. I have found that the most miserable person in this room is the believer with un-confessed sin in their life.
Guilt is heavy, placing a weight on the heart (Ezra 9:5-6)
- Fact—David was an adultery
- Fact—David was a murderer
- Fact—David was a thief
- Fact—David was living with an intolerable secret
And because of David’s invisible giant, he was in psychological exile from God.
Guilt will always hound us (2 Samuel 12:1-7)
Nathan the prophet was sent to confront David. A prophet is needed in the body, because they are able to point out sin in the life of the people of God. Nathan does this in a clever fashion by telling this story, and having David admit that he deserves death for what he has done. Was David humiliated? Yes. Was David relieved? Yes. It would have been like a weight lifted off his shoulders. All of the bad stuff was now laid out on the table. The secret is now out! Would there be repercussions? Yes. But, David would accept his wrong and now get his house in order.
Guilt will always help us (Psalm 51)
Psalm 51 gives us the aftermath of Nathan’s confrontation with David. David had been confronted. David had been humiliated. And now, David is…
Willing to own his own sin (vv. 1-3)
Notice the first person pronouns;
- “Blot out my transgressions”
- “Cleanse me from my sin”
- “Acknowledge my transgressions”
- “Against You, and You only, have I sinned”
The buck stops here! Harry Truman
It is easy to blame! Spell blame, “b-lame.” Most of us always look for a “scapegoat.” However, a road to recovery begins by owning your sin. A true man/woman of God accepts responsibility for their own sin. If you desire to recover from your sins, then don’t push them away. Embrace them. Own up to them. Say, “Responsibility stops here.”
Willing to acknowledge his sin
David DIDN’T say,
- “I was under a lot of stress.”
- “I just made a bad decision.”
- “It was an isolated incident.”
- “It would have happened anyway.”
- “Let’s not make a mountain out of a mole hill.”
- “It’s a mistake, okay? Let’s forget it.”
David DID say,
I acknowledge my transgressions, Psalm 51:3
In the book, “Slaying the Giants in Your Life” by David Jeremiah, psychologist Dr. Karl Menninger is quoted as saying, “Whatever became of sin?” Menninger said that in 1973…40 years ago. We could ask the same question this morning. Someone said, “We need to better understand grace.” Before we better understand grace, I think we need to better understand sin.
- Adultery is sin
- Cohabitation is sin
- Homosexuality is sin
- Aborting babies is sin
- Same sex marriage is sin
- Gambling is sin
- Drunkenness is sin
- Greed is sin
- Murder is sin
- Being verbally abusive is sin
- Gossip is sin
- Racism is sin
- Knowing what is right, but choosing to not do it is sin
- Grieving God’s Spirit is sin
- Quenching God’s Spirit is sin
David was conscious of his sin.
Willing to confess his sin (v. 4)
David knew that he had used Bethsheba. David was a man in authority, and he took advantage of a young woman. David knew that he took advantage of Bethsheba sexually. David knew he was guilty of murder. He knew that he wronged Joab. Joab was forced to compromise his integrity due to David. But notice David’s confession. He directs his confession toward God. David knew that his sin was an insult to the very God that created him. David knew that he had to have God’s forgiveness. He knew that man could forgive him, but he also knew that only God could cleanse him (1 John 1:9).
So, how do we slay this invisible Giant? Seek restitution when possible. Just realize you must not inflict more pain than you already have. Seek God’s forgiveness. When God forgives, He also cleanses. Your cleansing comes from God, and not public confession. Your sin may be great. But my God has grace greater than your sin!
The purpose of guilt is to bring you to Jesus. Once you are there, then the purpose is finished. Corrie ten Boom