The superscription to Psalm 32 states that this sacred composition was written by David and was intended to be thoughtfully absorbed by contemplation. In the Hebrew language it is identified as a “Maschil”. The New King James Version translates this noun as “contemplation”. The psalm has three Selahs (vv. 4, 5, and 7); this indicates that David intended for each section of the psalm to be ingested into one’s heart and soul through a pregnant pause for thoughtful meditation and reflection.
In the verses prior to the first spiritual rest stop, David reflects upon the blessedness of forgiven sins (vv. 1-2) in light of the inherent bitterness of sin (vv. 3-4). Next, David focuses upon the immense necessity of confessing sin (v. 5). He writes: “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.”
The fundamental concept of confession is that of saying the same thing about a matter that God does. When David was confronted by the prophet Nathan in 2 Samuel 12 and Nathan illustrates the heinousness of David’s wickedness (vv. 1-4, 7-9), then enumerates the horrific consequences that will scar his life (vv. 10-12), David’s confession was: “I have sinned against the Lord” (v. 13).
This six-word declaration is a huge spiritual mouthful. David’s heartfelt declaration about sin is in perfect harmony with the mind and word of God. David’s confession expressed personal responsibility (“I”), moral and spiritual clarity (“have sinned”), and divine offense by his actions (“against the Lord”).
Because of this alignment of David’s mind with God’s, we should not be surprised to read of David’s thoroughness in confessing His wrongdoing. He describes it as “my sin…my iniquity…my transgression…and…the iniquity of my sin.” David has broken God’s heart, offended God’s holiness, violated God’s law, grieved God’s spirit, trespassed God’s spiritual boundaries, and severed his fellowship with God. Though a powerful king, he has become a bankrupt spiritual pauper. That is what God says that sin does. That was what David felt and confessed (i.e. said-the-same-thing-as-God).
Like a bite from an extremely venomous snake, it is imperative to get the poison of sin out of one’s heart and life ASAP. Confession is the only antidote to this deadly, fast-acting spiritual poison.