The Greatest Joy

April 30, 2021

Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin.” Romans 4:7-8 NLT

Paul is quoting from Psalm 32, a psalm of David. We don’t know for sure what specific disobedience and sin might have prompted this joyful burst from David. It might have been his sin of adultery with Bathsheba and all the lies and even murder involved in keeping the secret. Whether or not it was his immediate reason for praising God in this way, we know for sure it was also true of his confession and forgiveness.

Do you remember how it happened? David had Bathsheba’s husband killed in battle when he couldn’t get him to sleep with Bathsheba when he was on military orders so her pregnancy could be assumed to be his. But David and Bathsheba knew. Can you imagine the state of their marriage as she grieved over her husband and they tried to pretend to the world that King David had been a rescuer by taking the widow as his wife? Think about the nervousness of wondering what the servants were saying and who they were telling. One of them had sent for Bathsheba for David. What about his children? The other leaders in the kingdom? He likely heard innuendoes and saw condemning looks, from his perspective, in nearly every conversation.

And what about God? David had been so close to God that he called Him his Shepherd. Can you imagine the distance he felt from the God he loved?

I would bet you can imagine it as well as I can. There is no uneasiness and unrest that can compare to the awareness that I have sinned, broken my own heart and God’s, and yet I resist coming clean. When I don’t confess and make things right with God, when I don’t ask forgiveness of those I have wronged, the effort to keep up appearances is exhausting. The relationships become brittle and disappointing.

But there’s nothing to compare with the joy of coming clean, of being forgiven, and experiencing a truthful relationship with God and people. The greatest joy comes from forgiveness and restoration with God and others. Why suffer another day? What joy there is for those whose record God has cleared!

  • Does your heart remind you of an area you are hiding, a place where you need to come clean? Take care of it now.