I love playing Hide-and-Seek with young children. There is nothing more humorous than when they find what they think is the perfect hiding place, and yet they are easily seen. Many children think if they cannot see you, then surely you cannot see them. They cover themselves with a blanket in the middle of the floor and are convinced you will not suspect that the huge, wiggling lump is really them hiding. They giggle and wiggle in their hiding spot and are totally surprised when you uncover them and begin a tickle war.
We also play Hide-and-Seek much the same way, but our game isn't so funny. We attempt to cover our sin as if God cannot see the big pile in the center of our hearts. He is not giggling and laughing. There is nothing funny about our game. Our game is more like the child who stole the cake. Smudges of chocolate all over the face, and the child insists he didn't eat the cake. He is completely perplexed how anyone could know he really did consume the stolen delight.
Smudges of sin all over our hands and hearts, we try to hide our transgression. We are filled with guile... trickery, deceit, falsehood. We think our hidden sin will bring us happiness. As long as no one finds out, we will be happy. David declares quite the opposite.
Psalm 32:1 "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."
David declares happiness isn't in hidden sin, but forgiven sin, covered not by us but by His blood... cleansed. Happiness isn't in deceit and trickery (guile), but it is found in a right relationship with the Lord. Happiness isn't in hiding. Instead, it is in seeking.
Psalm 32:3-4 "When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah."
David explained what it was like to try to hide sin. He kept silence, and the conviction was a weight upon him. He lost joy and peace. The refreshing babbling brook of joy dried up to dust. But when he confessed his sin and repented, things changed.
Psalm 32:5 "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. Selah."
Sweet peace and joy returned. The close fellowship with his God was restored. David gives a warning as well.
Psalm 32:6 "For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him."
Godly people will call out for forgiveness because they understand two things:
Are we harboring sin and hiding it? Are we covering it thinking there is joy as long as we are not caught? The real joy is found in repentance, confession, and having sin forgiven.
It's an unpleasant part of the life I live. I am surrounded by it. It is inescapable.
I can look out my windows and see it. I walk down the street an see it. It's in the stores. It's on vehicles. It's everywhere.
Yesterday we came home from church. I looked out my kitchen window to see my neighbors doing worship with their priest. They were chanting and making offerings to idols. The conch horn was blown several times. Incense was burning all around them. Statues in the yard were decorated.
On the way to and from church I noticed a tree wrapped in worship garland and a large stone colored in worship powders. Many people had the red worship dot on their foreheads, and the temples were teaming with people.
My heart breaks... but then I wonder: am I also guilty?
Psalm 31:6 "I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD."
Lying vanity... deceiving emptiness.
What is a lying vanity? Is it statues that cannot hear or see? Is it trees that cannot help? Is it chants and incense and red dots on foreheads?
Those things surely are lying vanities, but this term covers so much more. The verse gives a perfect definition. David gave a comparison here that makes it more clear exactly what a lying vanity is. He said that he has hated those who regard lying vanities, but then he explained the opposite of lying vanities. He trusted in the Lord. A lying vanity is anything that isn't trusting the Lord. It's more than just physical idols or pagan worship.
Am I guilty? Every time I trust in something other than the Lord, yes, I am guilty! When I trust in my own strength, I am guilty. When I trust in my wisdom and logic, I am guilty. When I trust in people or government or education or finances...
Deceptive. These things look so trustworthy. They look like they will solve our problems. They look like the answers. And yet... emptiness.
The opposite is to trust in the Lord. He is the answer to our needs and our problems. He is the solution.
What are we trusting? Are we regarding lying vanities? Do we pridefully think that our lying vanities are better than those of people who bow down to statues and trees?
I am apologetically a Daddy's girl. My Daddy has been in Heaven for almost 6 years now, and I still consider myself a Daddy's girl. I loved making him proud of me. I loved spending time with him. I loved watching football while eating cheese with him. One thing I hated though was any time I disappointed him. I hated having to be disciplined. I didn't just hate discipline because it was uncomfortable. I hated it because I knew my Daddy was not happy with what I had done. He still loved me. I never doubted that, but I treasured being in his favor. It was my heart's longing to stay in his favor. I also loved the fact that I knew my Dad enough to know what would disappoint him. I knew he loved diligence and honesty. I knew he valued hard work and integrity. If I wanted his approval and to please him, those were character traits I had to have.
Psalm 30:4-5 "Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
I love dwelling on the holiness of God. It is consistent and dependable. He never changes. It's easy to respect and adore a God who displays the beauty of holiness and purity. Because of His holiness, I know sin will disappoint Him. I know it will bring His chastisement. Just as my earthly Dad chastised me when I did wrong, my Heavenly Father does the same. He loves me and wants to teach me. The times of chastisement are never pleasant, but I know He has a purpose rooted in love. Not only that, but His chastisement will not be forever. He isn't doing it to destroy me. He is doing it to train me and to bring me back into His favor. Oh, how I treasure being in His favor! It is life! His favor isn't what I deserve. His favor is beyond what is due. It is overwhelming and sweet and good and precious! Yes, His discipline teaches me to do right, but it's His favor that makes me hunger to follow Him.
Give thanks when you recall the holiness of God. It is pure and perfect. It brings His chastisement upon us when we stray. But treasure His favor, because in His favor is life. Let His favor draw you to repentance. The goodness of God leads to repentance. If you are being chastised, remember that it isn't going to last forever. Humble yourself and submit to His loving chastisement. Joy comes in the morning.
Have you ever been in a trial and felt like you just couldn't hear His voice? Were you calling out to Him yet you felt so alone? Maybe you are dealing with a trial like that right now. Psalm 29 explains a few things about God by using the description of His voice.
God is with us through the trial no matter what the trial is. No matter how high, how wide, or how deep the trial is, He is bigger.
He is with us through the storm and He is with us through the deep waters.
Psalm 29:3 "The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters."
Even in the trial He is still in control, sitting on His throne.
Psalm 29:4 "The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty."
He is greater than the dark forests of trials and can easily remove the obstacles that are too big for us.
Psalm 29:5 "The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon."
Psalm 29:9 "The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory."
He is Lord over the fire and the flames that threaten to consume us.
Psalm 29:7 "The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire."
He is sovereign over the floods of life that try to sweep us away.
Psalm 29:10 "The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever."
And He masters all these types of trials with ease, simply by the power of His voice. His booming, loud, bold voice. Yes, He is master over our trials and controls them at will, and yet our greatest need is not for His booming, powerful voice to remove the trial. That's the voice we so often crave to hear, but the one we often need to hear most is different. It's easy to hear the big booming voice. We wait for it. We cry for it.
"Lord, take this trial away! It hurts!" We listen for His booming voice and we cannot hear it.
It is in those moments we can learn how to listen for His other voice. His still small voice. It's isn't the voice that removes trials, knocks down obstacles, and diverts the floods. It's the voice that speaks peace to our hears. You have to be quiet and still and patient to hear it. His still... small... voice. It says, "I am here. I've got you. Peace."
1 Kings 19:11-12 "And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice."
I come from a family of military people. My Dad was in the Army for eight years. My uncle was career military in the Army. I have several cousins and uncles who are serving or have served in the military. One thing I must say, whether in pictures or in person, there is something powerful about seeing them in uniform. It commands respect. That uniform symbolizes so much. When you see them in uniform, you know that person has given their best. They are in top physical condition. They have been trained. They are soldiers. And yet there is Someone greater who deserves these fine looking men and women in their finest military attire to bow their knees.
Psalm 29:1 "Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength."
Mighty, strong, and glorious as they may be, their victories and their accomplishments are only due to the might, grace, and strength of the Lord. Our most physically elite and battle-prepared representatives on earth cannot compare to the strength and might of the Lord. Their honor and glory should go to Him. How beautiful to see these soldiers... these warriors... bow their knees and give glory where it is truly due! If that be the case, how much more should I, weak and pitiful as I am, give God glory for all victories?
Elegant. Pure. Glowing. Clean. Beautiful. She walks down the aisle and the congregation rises to their feet. Her pure white dress shines. She is breath-taking. The virgin bride reaches the front of the sanctuary to meet her groom. The vows are said. And then it happens. The first kiss they have ever experienced. They saved it for each other. It is a stunning picture of the beauty of holiness. She saved herself for him. She was set apart for him and him alone. Radiant beauty. It captivates the whole audience. And yet their is Someone's holiness that it more pure and more beautiful. He deserves the glory and the honor and the praise.
Psalm 29:2 "Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness."
A pure virgin bride in her cleanest, whitest, most perfect gown... even she should bow the knee and give glory where it is truly due. He is holy, and His holiness is absolutely pure, clean, perfect, sinless, set apart. It is beautiful. Oh, to see such a pure and beautiful bride in her gown bow the knee to the One who deserves the glory! How much more does He deserve all the glory from someone like me!
Weak, stained with sin, hopeless, helpless... How could I ever take the glory for victories? I am no soldier. I am no radiant bride in a pure white gown. What a tragedy, what an insult if I boast in accomplishments!
Give unto the Lord glory and worship Him in the beauty of holiness. He is the only one truly worthy.