5. Christ: Our 'Hiding Place' Psalm 32:7

Text:  “And a Man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great Rock in a weary land.”                                                                                                                                                   
Isaiah 32:2.

          “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge (hiding place) and my fortress; my God; in Him will I trust.”
                                                                                                                 Psalm 91:1-2.

Good morning, Securely hidden Christian!  When all the storms of life assail you; you are Spiritually safe and secure, hidden in Christ Jesus.  When trouble abounds all around you - in your home; in your family circle; in the business in which you are engaged; in your country and in your community - you are still Spiritually safe and secure in the Rock upon Whom you and I have truly believed, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Hallelujah!   Thank You, Lord God, for such Eternal security in Thy dear Son, our dear Saviour!  Our hiding place is in Him. Glory to the Lamb Who is indeed worthy!  Amen.

Fervent and sincere personal prayer to God our Heavenly Father, through the Spiritual groaning of God the Holy Spirit within, and at all times, in the Name of Jesus Christ our Redeemer Lord - are powerful petitions indeed; and result in the most amazing results one can imagine.  Yet, the prayer-meeting, and personal family prayer times seem to be the most neglected practices throughout Christianity today!

“Prayer hath shut up the windows of Heaven that it should not rain and again hath opened them that the earth might give her increase.  Prayer hath stayed the swift course of the sun and caused it to go backward fifteen degrees.  Prayer hath held God’s hands that He could not strike when He was ready to plague His people.  Prayers without any other help or means hath thrown down the strong walls of Jericho.  Prayer hath divided the sea that the floods thereof could not come near the Israelites.  In this place it delivereth the faithful man from all the dangers of this world.”  (Thomas Playfere 1633)

Verse 7.  “Thou art my hiding place.  Observe that the same man who in the fourth verse was oppressed by the Presence of God here finds a shelter in Him.  See what honest confession and full forgiveness will do!  The Gospel of Substitution makes Him to be our refuge Who otherwise would have been our Judge.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 159)

When (not if!) troubles and oppositions come to us as Bible-believing Christians, our first recourse should be to the place of prayer.  Reacting to sudden troubles, or to long-term circumstances, in this manner of prayerfulness - we have a true and faithful hiding place, in Christ Jesus.  He is only a prayer away.

“Call upon Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”  (Jeremiah 33:3)

Troubles:  No one escapes the troubles of life, trouble is an integral part of human experience; no one is exempt from suffering, and illnesses; and dangers; and loss of peace.  Furthermore, when one becomes a true, Bible-believing Christian - the floodgates of trouble are sure to open and a deluge of unique oppositions come tumbling around our Blood-bought souls.  Such troubles are actually promised to us by God!

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”  (2 Timothy 3:12)

Yet, as surely as such promised ‘persecutions’ come to us, we have God’s written promise that “…a Man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great Rock in a weary land.”  That Man is, of course, the God-Man, Jesus, the risen Christ.  Hallelujah!

Verse 7.  “…Thou shalt preserve me from trouble.  Trouble shall do me no real harm when the Lord is with me; rather it shall bring me much benefit, like the file which clears away the rust, but does not destroy the metal.  Observe the three tenses; we have noticed the sorrowful past, the last sentence was a joyful present, this is a cheerful future.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 159)

Our primary Bible text for this morning, from Isaiah, not only prophesies the Christ-Man as our Hiding Place, but that He will be like, “… rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great Rock in a weary land.”

How often have you and I felt like we were dry and parched for the Presence of God, almost devoid of genuine Christian fellowship with ‘…those of like precious faith.’?  Then, we opened our Bibles and from God’s inspired Word received a most satisfying draught of refreshing and living water?  The ‘dry place’ becomes a Spiritual river!

Thought:  Verse 7.  “…Thou wilt compass me about with songs of deliverance.”  “If Christ is the ‘Balm in Gilead’, apply the remedy; if He is the ‘Physician there’, go to Him; if He is the ‘Pearl of great price’, sell all that you have and buy it; and if He is the ‘hiding-place’, run into it and be safe; there will be no solid joy and peace in the mind until He is your ‘Hiding-Place’”  (Fountain Elwin 1842)

4. Honesty, Pardon, and Peace Psalm 32:5-6

Text:  “For He (the Lord) saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  So then (a conclusion) it is not of him that willeth (the human will/decisions), nor of him that runneth (physical effort), but of God that showeth mercy.”
                                                                                                            Romans 9:15-16.

Good morning, God-pardoned Christian!  If the good Lord God Jehovah, through the full Atonement Sacrifice of His dear Son, Christ Jesus, had not chosen to save you and I - we would never ever have been saved.  Fact.  The natural man receives not the things of God, for they are Spiritually discerned.  This is God’s Word on the matter.  He has mercy on whoever He sees fit to have mercy, and He shows compassion to whom He sees fit to show His compassion - if He chooses not to show that mercy and compassion on any given soul, that soul is utterly LOST. 

Praise God He has shown mercy and compassion on you and on me, Christian friend - according to His Sovereign grace alone, we are forgiven, saved, and Eternally secure in Christ Jesus.  Hallelujah!  ‘Salvation is of the Lord!’  (Jonah 2:9)  God alone is God!  He does exactly whatever He desires to do with all that He has freely Created, and all that He has permitted to be born of woman.  Who can tell God that He is wrong, or correct Him, or challenge His Sovereign choice?  No one!  God alone is God.

“But our God is in the Heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased.”  (Psalm 115:3)

“That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He (God) might gather together in One (Christ Jesus) all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven (saved souls who have died?), and which are on earth (saved souls still alive?); even in Him: In Whom we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His Own will: that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.  In Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Word of truth, the Gospel of your Salvation; in Whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”  (Ephesians 1:10-13)

The Lord God Almighty saves only the souls that He Himself has chosen to save.

Honesty:  Those whom the Lord chooses to save, are granted His gift of genuine faith to believe/trust in His Word; to trust in the Living Word, Christ Jesus, and in His Sacrifice for our sin at Calvary’s Cross.  When, in time, we do so, the Lord grants us honesty, self-honesty, to see and admit our sin against Him and repent (turn away from sin and turn to Christ).

Pardon:  Full pardon from all the penalty of all our sins is the Lord God’s free gift to all ’His people’ whom He has granted faith to believe/trust in the Living Sacrifice of His Own dear Son, Jesus Christ.  All our sins - past, present, and future sins - have been placed upon the sinless Christ Jesus, and He has suffered the penalty for all these sins upon that cruel Cross over two thousand years ago at a place called Calvary.

Peace:  Christ’s Holy Sacrifice, having been fully accepted by God as a redemption price for our sins, results in true peace between the Lord God and those saved from sin, and allows us true fellowship with our Holy Lord God.  What an Eternal Friend we have in Jesus!  Glory to His Holy and Merciful Name!

“Therefore being justified (just-as-if-I’d-never-sinned) by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Romans 5:1)

“At the Cross, at the Cross, where I first saw the Light, and the burden of my heart rolled away…It was there, by faith, I received my sight, and now I am happy all the day.”  (Isaac Watts 1674-1748, Chorus by Ralph E. Hudson 1843-1901)

Verse 5.  “I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.  With men, a free confession makes way for a condemnation; but with God, the more a sinner bemoans his offence the more he extenuates the anger of his Judge.  Sin cannot but call for justice, as it is an offence against God; yet, when once ‘tis a wound to the soul, it moveth Him to mercy and clemency.”  (Isaac Craven’s Sermon at Paul’s Cross, 1630)

“This sin seems very probably to have been his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah.”  (William Gurnall 1617-1679)

Psalm 51: records David’s honest Psalm of confession to God; repentance from his gross sins; his seeking God’s forgiveness and cleansing; and assurance that his cry of repentance has been heard and answered by God.  Praise God it was so!  It shows a clear pattern for you and I that we too might repent from sins committed AFTER we were chosen for Salvation; and receive full restoration to fellowship with the Lord God. 

Progressive sanctification is a cleansing from sin that must be sought daily by all those who have been called by God the Holy Spirit to receive Salvation. (1 John 1:6-10)

 Thought:  “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye…And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one Body; and be ye thankful.” (Colossians 3:12-15)

3. The Spirit-Awakened Conscience Psalm 32:3-4

 Text:  “And you hath He quickened (made Spiritually alive), who were dead in trespasses and sins…Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
                                                                                                          Ephesians 2:1;5-6.

Good morning, Spirit-awakened Christian!  When God the Spirit moved upon the waters at the Creation of this world, chaos had to give way, and order was Created.  Similarly, when God the Spirit, in His Sovereign grace to sinners, moved upon your dead spirit and mine - we were convinced of our sinfulness; Christ’s full righteousness; and the judgement of God that shall surely come.  We had to be awakened from our Eternally fatal and sinful sleep, through the Gospel, granted faith to believe; and drawn by God’s cords of love to be among His redeemed church.  What truly amazing grace!

Thanks be to God, our sins, all our sins, are now covered by the Blood of Christ Jesus!

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (entire lifestyle) received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious Blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”         (1 Peter 1:18-19)

Verse 3.  “My bones waxed old.  What a killing thing is sin!  It is a pestilent disease!  A fire in the bones!  While we smother our sin it rages within, and like a gathering wound swells horribly and torments terribly.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 157)

Even as genuine, Spiritually regenerate (born again) Christians, we sin daily.  However, genuine, Spiritually regenerate Christians cannot bear having sinned for too long; we soon cry out to the Lord God for His forgiveness, and are progressively sanctified in order that we might have close fellowship with Him and with His people, the church.

The pig (unsaved souls) wallows in the mud with impunity, thick-skinned against the notion of the dirt and grime it accrues. 

The sheep (God’s saved followers) also wanders into the mud, but being God’s chosen sheep - indwelt by God the Holy Spirit - cannot endure being dirty and so cries out to God for fresh and constant cleansing.

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins (cry out to the Lord in repentance), He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  (1 John 1:8-9)

Spiritual conviction of personal sins only takes place within a Spirit-quickened soul!  The carnal man receiveth not the things of the Spirit…nor can know them.

Verse 3.  “…Through my roaring all the day long.  None know the pangs of conviction but those who have endured them.  The rack, the wheel, the flaming faggot are ease compared with the Tophet which a guilty conscience kindles within the breast: better suffer all the diseases which flesh is heir to, than lie under the crushing sense of the wrath of Almighty God.  The Spanish Inquisition with all its tortures was nothing to the inquest which conscience holds within the heart.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 157)

Dictionary Definition: Tophet - (noun) an ancient place of human sacrifice near Jerusalem, the valley of Hinnom or part of it, later a place of refuse disposal; hence Hell. (Hebrew: topheth)

“But the wicked are like that troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.  There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.”  (Isaiah 57:20-21)

Verse 4.  “For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me.  God’s finger can crush us - what must His hand be, and that pressing heavily and continuously!  Under terrors of conscience, men have little rest by night, for the grim thoughts of the day dog them to their chambers and haunt their dreams, or else they lie awake in a cold sweat of dread.  God’s hand is very helpful when it uplifts, but it is awful when it presses down: better a world on the shoulder, like Atlas, than God’s hand on the heart, like David.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 157)

Tell me, dear Christian friend, have YOU suffered such deep conviction of personal sin, and the constant dread of knowing you have sinned against the Holy Lord Jesus Who has saved your never-dying soul?  I am ashamed to say, I have, and have been so utterly relieved when the Lord God heard my cry of repentance from committed sin, and, by His grace alone, forgave me, sanctified me afresh; filled me afresh with His Holy Spirit - and restored me to full and close fellowship with Himself.  Hallelujah! 

Natural born sinners will always sin - but God has made a way of restoration for us, ’His people’.  Keep short accounts of sin before the Throne of God’s grace.

Verse 4.  “…the drought of summer.  During the twelve years from 1846 to 1859 only two slight showers fell in Jerusalem between the months of May and October.  One fell in July, 1858, another in June, 1859.  (Dr Whitty’s ‘Water Supply of Jerusalem’, quoted in Kitto’s Cyclopedia, John Kitto 1804-1854)

Let us strive to keep our sanctified walk with the Living Lord God clean from sin.  Let us realise afresh that, while sinlessness is unachievable, to sin less we must try to do

Thought:  “If God striketh those so sore whom He favoureth, how sharply and sore will He strike them whom He favoureth not.”  (Gregory 324-389)  Repent!

2. Music In Church? Psalm 32:2

Text:  “Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto Him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.  Sing unto Him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.”
                                                                                                                 Psalm 32:2-3.

Good morning, musical singing Christian!  Your heart is singing so much at each remembrance of Christ’s Salvation of your sinful soul that you just can’t help but open your mouth and sing His praises!  You cannot wait to get into fellowship with others of ‘…like precious faith…’ to sing and make music unto the Living Lord God!  You go about your day with a song in your heart, because you remember how graciously the Lord God has dealt with you in saving your never-dying soul.  You do well, beloved Christian, you do very well.  Keep right on singing and making sacred music unto the Lord God - for His Word has given us a mandate for doing so.  Hallelujah!

“And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: may shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.”  (Psalm 40:3)

Over the centuries since the birth of Christ’s Church on the Day of Pentecost, there has been much debate over whether or not to have music included in church services.  I have no idea how this type of debate commences, but one thing I do know: if the Lord had not wanted ‘His people’ to sing during their meetings, why then did He Himself engage in the practice?  We are called to be Christ-like - let’s continue trying to do things the way He did.  Amen?

“And when they (the Lord Jesus and His disciples) had sung a hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.”  (Matthew 26:30) (Mark 14:26)

When Hell-deserving sinners such as you and I are redeemed by the Blood of Christ the Lamb, we really have something to sing about, Eternally! 

All Sin is Paid For: Our vile sins - both our sin-nature inherited from our fallen progenitors, Adam and Eve, and the sins we have committed, commit daily, and will commit, are all covered by the Redemptive Blood of Christ Jesus shed for us on Calvary’s Cross.  The sin-question, for the genuine born again Christian believer, has been forever dealt with at that terrible Place called Golgotha - Jesus paid it ALL!  Hallelujah!  Does this Bible fact not make your heart want to SING?  Glory to the Lamb!  All praise unto Him Who was worthy to suffer and die to redeem our souls!

Verse 2.  “Blessed (blessed with multiple blessings) is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity.  Note the three words so often used to denote our disobedience: transgression, sin, and iniquity,  they are the three-headed dog at the gates of Hell, but our glorious Lord has silenced his barkings forever against His own believing ones.  This trinity of sin is overcome by the Trinity of Heaven.

“…And in whose spirit there is no guile.  Free from guilt, free from guile.  Those who are justified from fault are sanctified from falsehood.  A liar is not a forgiven soul.  Treachery, double-dealing, chicanery, dissimulation, are lineaments of the Devil’s children, but he who is washed from sin is truthful, honest, simple, and childlike.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 156-157)

Notice that what brother Spurgeon is teaching here is NOT some form of the heresy of ‘Entire Sanctification’, or sinless perfection in our state!  As honest regenerate, Bible-believing Christians - we are truthful enough to know and openly proclaim that we sin every day!  We are born sinners, and shall continue to be sinners until the day we die - or the Lord appears to change these vile bodies of sin and grant us glorified bodies of perfect sinlessness. 

However, as such true believers, we also know the impossibility of trying to hide our sins from our Holy Lord God.  No.  We confess our sins, and He is true to His Word and forgives us our sins, and cleanses us from all newly committed iniquity!  Hallelujah!  And some would dare say we have nothing to sing about?  Glory to God, the Lord will not impute (put to our account) sin unto His elect and redeemed people!

This truth does not make us SINLESS - but it should make us SIN LESS DAILY!

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.”     (1 John 1:8-10)

Full Pardon:  “When once pardon is realised, the believer has courage to be truthful before God: he can afford to have done with guile in the spirit.  Who would not declare all his debts when they are certain to be discharged by another?  Who would not declare his malady when sure of a cure?  True faith knows not only that ’guile’ before God is impossible, but also that it is no longer necessary.  The believer has nothing to conceal: he sees himself as before God, stripped and laid open, and bare; and if he has learned to see himself as he is, so also has he learned to see God as He reveals Himself.”  (J.W. Reeve, M.A., 1860, in ’Lectures on the Thirty-Second Psalm’)

Now tell me, musical singing Christian - is not your making music and singing unto the Lord God completely justified by this remembrance of His Sovereign grace?  Sing!

Thought:  “It is the false heart only that finds the doors of mercy shut.”  (William Gurnall 1617-1679)  Sing unto the Lord the new song He has given us - those who have nothing to sing about may hold their peace.  Hallelujah! To the Lamb!

Psalm 32: A Psalm of Divine Blessings 1. Blessed Repentance Psalm 32:1

Text:  “Blessed (blessed with many blessings) is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”
                                                                                                                    Psalm 32:1. 

 Good morning, Christian blessed with Repentance!  Repentance is a gift of God’s free grace, a gift which He grants to all those whom He, in Eternity, has elected to redeem from sin’s curse, punishment, and power. 

If blessed with God’s gift of true repentance, the sinner turns completely away from following hard after sin and selfishness - the world, the flesh, and the Devil - and instead follows hard after Christ Jesus as a Spiritually regenerated soul.  Without God’s gift of repentance, the sinner’s soul can never be saved.  With God’s gift of repentance - the sinner turns from being a willing slave to sin, to become a willing servant of the Most High God, Jehovah - in and through the Cross of Christ Jesus.   Praise God for His blessed gift of true repentance from sin!

“Title: ’A Psalm of David, Maschil.’  That David wrote this glorious evangelic Psalm is proved not only by this heading but by the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 4:6-8; ’Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,’ etc.  Probably the deep repentance over his great sin was followed by such blissful peace that he was led to pour out his spirit in the soft music of this choice song.  In the order of history, it seems to follow the Fifty-First.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 155) 

“This is a mark of a true penitent when he hath been a stumbling-block to others, to be as careful to raise them up by his repentance as he was hurtful to them by his sin; and I never think that man truly penitent who is ashamed to teach sinners repentance by his own particular proof.  The Samaritan woman, when she was converted left her bucket at the well, entered the city, and said, ’Come forth, yonder is a man who hath told me all that I have done.’  And our Saviour saith to St Peter, ’When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.’ (John 4:29; Luke 22:32).  St. Paul, also after his conversion, is not ashamed to call himself chiefest of all sinners and to teach others to repent of their sins by repenting of his own.  Happy, and thrice happy, is the man who can build so much as he hath cast down.”  (Archibald Symson - 1631)

Personally speaking, there is nothing that frustrates me more when sat listening to someone giving a word of testimony of Salvation in Christ, than that person point-blankly refusing to declare openly the fact that he/she was guilty of sin!  It is as though such people believe that another sinner’s soul can be touched and won for Christ, by refusing evidence of the fact of sin in the life of the testator prior to Spiritual regeneration.  One must be clear to point out WHAT one has been delivered and saved from; that the penalty for one’s own personal sins has been redeemed by the sinless Blood of the Lamb, Christ Jesus.  Christ only came to call sinners to repentance, the self-righteous never see their need to repent from sin and have Christ as their Saviour.

Verse 1. “Blessed.  Like the Sermon on the Mount, this Psalm begins with beatitudes.  This is the second Psalm of benediction.  The First Psalm describes the result of holy blessedness, The Thirty-Second details the cause of it.  The first pictures the tree in full growth: this depicts it in its first planting and watering.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 155)

Forgiven:  As our text for today teaches, the man/woman is so blessed for a reason - because our sins/transgressions have been forgiven by the Holy Lord God against Whom we have sinned.  Even the Pharisees and Scribes knew enough to realise that, because God alone is Holy, we can only sin against such an Holy God.  Therefore, only God can forgive sins!  When He does, the soul forgiven rejoices and comes into true fellowship with our Absolutely Holy Lord God.  Hallelujah!  True Christians are FORGIVEN!  All glory to the Lord God of Sovereign grace and mercy to sinners!

“But there were certain of the Scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man (Jesus) thus speak blasphemies?  Who can forgive sins but God only?”  (Mark 2:6-12) 

Redeemed:  “Blessed is the man…whose sin is covered.  God, in forgiving sins, remits that guilt and penalty.  Guilt cries out for justice: no sooner had Adam eaten the fruit, but he saw the flaming sword, and heard the curse; but in remission God doth indulge the sinner; He seems to say thus to him: ‘Though thou art fallen into the hands of My justice, and deserve to die, yet I will absolve thee, and whatever is charged upon thee shall be discharged.’”  (Thomas Watson -1690)

Verse 1.  “…Whose sin is covered.  Covered by God, as the ark was covered by the mercy-seat, as Noah was covered from the flood; as the Egyptians were covered by the depths of the sea.  What a cover must that be which hides away forever from the sight of the all-seeing God all the filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit!  He who has once seen sin in its horrible deformity will appreciate the happiness of seeing it no more forever.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 156)

“…And the Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth (cleans and continues to cleanse) us from all sin.”           (1 John 1:7)

Thought:  “Would you be free from your burden of sin?  There’s power in the Blood.”