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Eurasia Blog Wednesday Devotion: “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven”

By: Deaconess Elizabeth Ahlman

Rev. Mark Barz preaches the sermon during the Closing Worship service for the Eurasia Missionary retreat, which took place from August 15-19, 2016 in Wittenberg, Germany. (Photo by Elizabeth Ahlman/LCMS Eurasia

Rev. Mark Barz preaches the sermon during the Closing Worship service for the Eurasia Missionary retreat, which took place from August 15-19, 2016 in Wittenberg, Germany. (Photo by Elizabeth Ahlman/LCMS Eurasia)

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)

What beautiful words from David, the author of this Psalm. It seems strange for him to be able to say it, though. In whose spirit is there no deceit, absolutely none? How does one know their transgressions are forgiven, especially the big ones? David himself had much deceit in his spirit. He pursued the wife of another man ruthlessly. After impregnating her, he even ensured the man’s death by sending him into the front of the battle. He worked hard to cover his transgression with Bathesheba himself. He tried to have Uriah, her husband, return to her so that it would appear to be his child. When that did not work, he deceitfully and clandestinely sent Uriah to the front of the battle. He didn’t murder him with his own hands, but he made sure Uriah would not return.

None of this, however, could be hidden from God. Through his prophet Nathan, the Lord confronted David with his deeds done in darkness and exposed every corner of deceit in his spirit, every transgression committed.

So it is with us. In darkness and in the deceitful corners of our spirits, we transgress and we hide and we try to cover it over ourselves. We cover our tracks so that no one will see our sins. We go about cheating our neighbor or resenting our spouse in the most deceitful ways possible, so that no one will know what we really feel and do. We murder the unborn child in our wombs with a simple pill so no one can detect what has happened. We hide in a corner of the kitchen and eat that cupcake to hide our gluttony from our loved ones.

None of this, try as we might, is hidden from God. None of this can be covered over with our clever deceits and self-justifications. Yet, we, like David, can say “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). We can say this because the Lord has given the Law to reveal our deceit, shed light on our darkness, and pull us to our knees in repentance and prayer. We can say this because the Lord has given what is needed for our forgiveness and our cleansing: His only Son Jesus Christ, who was the only one ever to be “without deceit.” This Jesus gave His life so that our deceits and darkness could be covered over with His very blood shed for us. We live as the blessed whom David references because God the Father has given the Son for us. He has led us to repentance and gifts us His forgiveness now and every time we call on Him.

Let us Pray: Lord God, Heavenly Father, You are righteous beyond measure, and You see all of our unrighteousness — the deceit in our spirits and the transgressions carried out in darkness — grant to us repentance and help us to seek in Your Son forgiveness, life and salvation so that we may live in the forgiveness He won for us; for the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Amen.

  • Read last week’s devotion.
  • Check back next week for our Guest Devotion from Rev. David Mahsman.

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