Psalm 32

Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.

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 sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD “- and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.

Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him. Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!

For a Christian, being out of fellowship with the Lord can be a scary thing. It interrupts the flow of blessings from God, and puts us out in the world all by ourselves. When we’re in fellowship, we’re invisible to our enemy, hidden in Christ. But when we’re out of fellowship, we’re aliens behind enemy lines with a big target painted on our backs that glows in the dark.

It’s caused by neglecting (or refusing) to confess our sins. And that’s a crazy thing, because the Bible clearly says that the minute we confess, we’re forgiven and our sins forgotten. It’s usually either our fear or our self-justification that prevents us, but the Lord doesn’t care whose fault it was, or who started it, and He’s not trying to make us admit our guilt so He can discipline us.

In Genesis 3 we see the first sin committed and the first attempt to avoid confession. “It was the woman you gave me,” said Adam, blaming Eve. “The devil made me do it,” said Eve, blaming the serpent. But the Lord wasn’t trying to figure out how the sin had been committed or who had started it. He already knew what had happened. He was simply looking for a confession so He could extend forgiveness. When He didn’t get it, He had to exclude them from His presence.

It’s the same with us. We’re not told to confess so the Lord can be informed of our behavior and mete out the appropriate punishment. He’s already been informed and He’s already exacted the punishment. He’s simply looking for a confession so He can extend forgiveness. There’s no reason in the world for us to be less than candid, or to offer up some excuse, no matter how convincing. He already knows more about the situation than we ever will, and He’s already committed Himself to forgive us every time we ask. There’s simply no down side.

“Confession is good for the soul.” We’ve all heard that, and it’s really true. Confession brings forgiveness and purification from all unrighteousness. It relieves guilt and restores fellowship, resuming the interrupted flow of blessing. For as long as we’re on Earth, it’s the most beneficial of all the provisions of the Everlasting Covenant. “If you’ll die for them, I’ll forgive them,” the Father had promised the Son. “If you’ll forgive them, I’ll die for them,” the Son replied. They were talking about you and your sins. The penalty has been established, the price has been paid, and justice has been served. You’re forgiven.