6 Therefore let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
they shall not reach him.
7 You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance.
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9 Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
or it will not stay near you.
10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.
11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Psalms 32:6–11, ESV
The second part of Psalms 32 carries a significant weight for the Christian. What we read also defines us as believers. In the first part of our examination we discovered the joy that comes when we repent and confess, and are forgiven.(You can read the first part at http://psalmslife.com/2012/02/08/alongshadowps-32/.)
This half of the Psalm continues the deep theme of forgiveness. David has much to say and teach us. We are given a gift of incredible worth, as these verses are impregnated with truth and insights. What this gives you can’t be minimized, as you read with understanding, you are given something profound. This is really and truly not anything you have seen before.
V. 6, this is “high ground.” Here in Alaska we have signs posted that guide us to safety in the event of a tsunami. David understands that prayer is essential at this point. When things seem to be getting wet, you can be “high and dry.”
V. 7, this is a loud proclamation of a confident faith. David, just a few verses ago is a real skunk, just declares that God pays him protection. Notice the “you” is repeated. This kind of safety can only be found in a person, “preserved” and “surrounded.”
V. 8–9, this describes the life of individual guidance. This is critical in this day of misplaced signposts and flawed compasses. The words “instruct” and “counsel” are used purposely. But, we definitely need this level of direction. He has a special eye for you. I think that is pretty cool.
Dumb horses or mules usually require bits and bridles, as they are not fully domesticated. They still have a “wild streak” deep down. I suppose it is a trifle demeaning to be labeled this way. But that is clearly God’s words to describe our condition in a way that we can grasp. The idea of proximity and closeness is floated out there. Intimacy or nearness to God are special graces given to obedient people.
V. 10, a verse of contrast, the wicked and the godly. We see pain, and we see the person enveloped in a “steadfast love.” Being surrounded is usually a bad thing, but for the believer it is the best thing to happen to us.
V. 11, we are returning to the ”joy idea” first encountered in the first verses. But it’s far more than an idea, it is real. Joy is the exclusive bonus of the Christian. It is part of what the Father gives us. If you don’t believe me, just start singing to the Lord.