URC Daily Devotion Sunday 26th May 2024

Sunday 26th May 2024
Psalm 32

Happy the one whose offence is forgiven,
whose sin is remitted.
O happy the one to whom the Lord
imputes no guilt,
in whose spirit is no guile.

I kept it secret and my frame was wasted.
I groaned all day long,
for night and day your hand was heavy upon me.
Indeed my strength was dried up
as by the summer’s heat.

But now I have acknowledged my sins;
my guilt I did not hide.
I said: “I will confess
my offence to the Lord.”
And you, Lord, have forgiven
the guilt of my sin.

So let every good person pray to you
in the time of need.
The floods of water may reach high
but them they shall not reach.
You are my hiding place, O Lord;
you save me from distress.
(You surround me with cries of deliverance.)

I will instruct you and teach you
the way you should go;
I will give you counsel
with my eye upon you.

Be not like horse and mule, unintelligent,
needing bridle and bit
else they will not approach you.
Many sorrows has the wicked
but those who trust in the Lord,
loving mercy surrounds them.

Rejoice, rejoice in the Lord,
exult, you just!
O come, ring out your joy,
all you upright of heart.


It can be a scary thought, when you consider it, that God sees our wrongdoing as well as the times we get it right, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. A bit like Big Brother watching us, or that uncanny feeling we get when internet algorithms start predicting our interests and preferences based on websites we’ve viewed or items we’ve purchased online. We may become well versed in hiding our actions from those around us – my grown-up sons still don’t know about the secret stash of hidden chocolate that I chose not to share when they were younger! – but nothing is hidden from God. 

This psalm is not about God’s watchful eye and wrathful judgement (unlike some of the psalms). It’s about someone else who is also present and aware of everything we do – ourselves. We know every time we don’t go God’s way and, wittingly or unwittingly, say, think or do the wrong thing. We may not like to call it sin, but sin it is. It comes between us and God, like cloud blocking out the warmth and light of the sun.  It doesn’t stop God loving us, it stops us feeling God’s love and grace. 

But, as the psalmist tells us, forgiveness is waiting for us. Honesty and humility, a willingness to admit when we get it wrong, whether accidentally or knowingly, these are fundamental to all healthy relationships. Why would it be any different with God? Placing our guilt and shame at God’s feet, with honesty and humility, restores our relationship and allows us to thrive in God’s love and grace, as we were always meant to do. Without confession we can’t experience life in all its fullness, as is God’s will.

Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? 


Dear God, it sounds so simple. 
And yet we put it off, preferring to store up our guilt in secret 
rather than open ourselves up to your forgiveness. 
This moment, Lord, I take that step. 
I lay the burden of my sin at your feet. 
I own up to the times I have failed to follow in your way 
And have wandered from your path. 
Forgive me, restore me, and grant me your grace. 


Today’s writer

Lorraine Webb, Programme Officer for Children’s and Youth Work


New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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