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The Cost of Forgiveness

at the foot of the cross strength is found

Bible Reading

Psalm 32:1-5

New International Version (NIV)

Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord does not count against them
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 on me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer.[b]

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.

What Does it Mean?

Forgiveness is a wonderful gift – one we cannot earn, something we can never really deserve. It is freeing, releasing us from the heavy burden of our guilt. But read verses 3 and 4 and hear David’s anguish. He recognises that there is a prerequisite for forgiveness, even though it is a free gift. In verse 5, he acknowledges what he – and we – had to do to receive the gift of forgiveness.

David had sinned pretty seriously – he had slept with another man’s wife, and then had her husband killed so that he could marry her. The consequences of his sin were severe – for as long as he failed to acknowledge before God what he had done wrong. Despite what he had done, God was quite prepared to forgive him, but David had to take the first step – that of humble repentance before his God.

It’s not that we can hide anything that we do from God. He sees everything that we do and grieves when we commit sins against Him and others. Repentance isn’t about going to God and telling Him what we’ve done as if He doesn’t already know how sinful we’ve been – it’s about acknowledging before Him that we know that what we’ve done is wrong and that we’re sorry for it.

Look at verse 2. David says that those who have no deceit in their spirit are blessed. We can’t lie to God, because He is all seeing and all knowing – but often we try to hide our sins because we are ashamed of them. There is no need to be ashamed! All that God requires of us is honesty!

Our God is merciful and kind – we must never forget that. He extends forgiveness to us when we don’t deserve it, and all He asks of us in order to receive it is a bit of humble repentance. How good is our God!

Ponder Points

Is there any deceit in your spirit? Are there unconfessed sins in your life that you are still holding onto in shame? Confess them now before God with humble repentance and you will receive the wonderful gift of forgiveness!

Think about some of the things that God has extended forgiveness to you for, and meditate on His merciful kindness.


God is good all the time! He doesn’t hold our sins against us unless we try to hide them from Him.

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