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
Psalm 32, considered a penitential psalm, teaches much about the effects of sin, the benefits of confession, and God's forgiveness.
When read as worship, through the spiritual lens of a relationship with God in Christ, it can become rather personal.
Under the weight of sin’s shame and from the depths of guilt and remorse, the only place to turn is Jesus. Now satan, of course, will try to convince us otherwise—preferring we remain separated from God, in the dark, and under its imposing burden.
Verses 8 through 10 are God's gracious response. He speaks intimately and personally, as a Father. And He extends these four assurances to be remembered:
God instructs us
God counsels us
God intimately guides us
God enfolds us
What a loving and gentle response! God gave the reassurances of being present, watchful, and providing wise counsel. But He also added a necessary warning.
Passages like this help us remember that God graciously accepts the honest confessions of His children. And that He has willingly made it possible for relationship to be restored and maintained through His Son, Jesus Christ.
A celebration of His unconditional love is also expressed as part of this psalm (vs 11). Worship and obedience are appropriate responses to a Father who has responded to humanity in such a way.
The opening verses (vs 1, 2), as well as the conclusion (vs 11), espouse the blessedness of the forgiven. A blessedness to be remembered—and lived out in gratitude.
Loving Father of all mercy, the joy in Your forgiveness is indescribable! Thank You for accepting our humble and sincere confessions and for the restoration it brings. Teach us prudence and understanding, that we might not behave as a stubborn beast. Thank You for the blessedness that comes from the costly forgiveness bought by the blood of Your precious Son, Jesus Christ.