Lesson 3, Series 2, Psalm 32, Lectio Divina

Psalm 32 (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.

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 all the faithful pray to you
    while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
    will not reach them.
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 with my loving eye on 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.
10 Many are the woes of the wicked,
    but the Lord’s unfailing love
    surrounds the one who trusts in him.

11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
    sing, all you who are upright in heart!

Preparation:  Find a quiet place where you are able to focus on listening to God’s voice through the Word.  Relax and clear your mind of distractions before beginning the reading.

This Psalm was written by King David after committing serious sins that had devastating results.  It is a heartfelt description of sin and guilt and the freedom and joy that comes from confession and forgiveness.  As you go through this study, examine your own life for a known sin that is standing in the way of your relationship with God.

Lectio:  Read through the entire Psalm 32 slowly, aloud if possible.  In the second reading, note any words or phrases that particularly speak to your heart.

Meditatio:  Focus more closely on the words or phrases that speak to you.  Repeat them in your mind, impressing them on your soul.  Examine your heart, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of your life that may be separating you from God.

Oratio:  If there is unconfessed sin in your life, make your confession to God.  Confession is not informing God about your sin, but rather lifting the burden of secrecy from your own heart and allowing God to cleanse you from guilt.  Listen for guidance and clarity in making the changes that might be necessary in your life and relationships that have been damaged by sin.

Contemplatio:  Spend some time in the presence of the God who loves you, who forgives you, and who protects you from trouble.  Bask in the removal of the guilt of your sin.  Rejoice in the Lord and be glad.