Brethren Archive

Cleared, Comforted and Counselled (Psalm 32)

by Inglis Fleming

“God is a refuge for us.” He has ever been the dwelling place, the high tower, the fortress of His people. All down the centuries they have proved that, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth unto it and is safe.” So it was with David, the sweet psalmist of Israel. And his utterances of prayer and praise, in his psalmody, voice the wishes and the worship of the hearts of saints today, though we have to remember, always, that we live in days when redemption has been accomplished and when the Holy Spirit has come to indwell His own, and to assure them that they are His for ever.

Let us consider Psalm 32 in the light of this. God is for us as our Justifier. The believer is


before God, yea, by God Himself, from every charge. The whole matter of his sins and sinfulness has been dealt with in righteousness in the highest court of the universe, and from which there is no appeal. The sinner who believes “goes out of the court without a stain upon his character,” not because he is innocent, but because Christ has died for him and is risen again. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.”

Transgression forgiven; sin covered; iniquity not imputed; the spirit guileless. Blessed, happy indeed! is such an one.

God has justified him from every charge. God has covered his sin. God will not impute iniquity to him for He has made him accepted in the Beloved (Eph. 1:6), and made him His righteousness in Christ (2 Cor. 5:25). So the believer can be perfectly free in spirit in His presence.

Everything concerning the justified one has come out into the light—all that he has done and all that he is in himself as a sinner. Nothing has been overlooked. Sin has not been slurred over, it has been judged at the cross. There Christ was delivered for our offences and was raised again for our justification, “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

We can be in the light without a fear or misgiving. The One who knows all about us—yes, all that we have discovered in ourselves after our conversion, and all else. He is the One who clears us completely.

In verses 3-6 the psalmist shows how he reached the blessedness of which he speaks. He had kept silence for long, while the subject of God’s gracious discipline, but at length he owned all his guilt and need. “I acknowledged my sin unto Thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.”

David confesses; God forgives. How simple! How assuring! “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). We confess; He clears. And He is faithful and just in doing so because Christ has died.

“Because the sinless Saviour died,

My sinful soul is counted free;

And God, the Just, is satisfied

To look on Him and pardon me.”

But the believer is not only cleared, he is


The God of all grace is enough for his sorrows as well as for his sins and sinfulness The justified one can say, “Thou art my hiding place, Thou shalt preserve me from trouble; Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.” What words of cheer are these!

We pass through scenes of difficulty and trial. Storm and stress and strain are encountered, but God is over near. To Him we can turn—a feeble folk—to find a refuge in Him, the Rock of our Salvation. He was enough for us in our sins. He is enough for us in our circumstances. We hide under the shadow of His wings. And He is the Almighty One. Everything is under His control, He can make all our circumstances, at all times, work together for our good AND HE DOES.

So, and though,

“We comprehend Him not,

Yet earth and heaven tell

God sits as sovereign on His throne,

And ruleth ALL THINGS well.”

And now the speaker is changed—as so often in the Psalms. It is no longer David saying, “Thou shalt,” to God, but God Himself saying, “I will,” to David who is to be


as to his pathway.

What grace is with our God! “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye,” or “with Mine eye upon thee.” Precious promise this! The path twists and turns. We know not which is the way in which we should walk. He knows and He shows.

Court Palace Garden (not far from London). I could not find the way out. I went this path and that path, but in vain. At last, tired and weary, I looked up. Then for the first time I noticed a man upon an elevated platform. He was looking upon me and waiting to direct me. Then, pointing with a stick in one direction and then in another, he showed me the way I should take, and I soon found myself at the desired exit.

Look up, dear believer, for guidance from our God. He waits to direct He keeps you in His sight and thought unceasingly. If we are willing to do His will we shall not lack His guidance or miss our way.

“I have no difficulty about guidance,” said a Christian to me. I thought to myself, “Well, I have.” But he added some words of explanation, “My difficulty is in not being stupid or stubborn like the horse or the mule.” But even if we are foolish thus, there is comfort in the fact that the bit and the bridle of circumstances will be used to keep us on the right road as we journey on to the heavenly home.

Cleared, comforted, counselled. Truly privileged we are.

Well may the psalmist add, “Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, ye righteous, and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.”

He is enough for our sins—they are blotted out.

He is enough for our sorrows—He is our hiding place.

He is enough for our steps—He will guide us in all our way.


Help and Food 1929

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