Psalm 32 is a song of the confession of sin composed by King David after he had been rebuked by the prophet Nathan for his adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of her husband, Uriah (2 Samuel 11).
David tried to cover up his transgressions so that nobody knew about them. He thought by murdering Uriah, the case would be closed and nobody would ever know what he had done except he himself and Bathsheba. That was futile of course, as “no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13). We can lie to or fool our spiritual leaders, spouse, colleagues or anyone else but not God. There is no place we can hide ourselves from God and no way we can hide our sins from him. This is evident if we refer to Psalm 139:8-10: “If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”
God knew exactly the sins David had committed. He waited for David to confess. We do not know how long God let David hide his sins. Nevertheless, the longer David lived in his lies and hypocrisy, the more tormented he was (vv.3-4). The longer he kept silent about his sins, the more God punished him, until he could bear with it no further so he confessed his sins to God, and God forgave him. With that came restoration. David could now live a joyful life in the salvation that God had given to him. “Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” (Job 5:17) “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)
The same applies to us as well. Whenever we sin, God’s hand of discipline will always be on us, causing us to experience tremendous stress and suffering so that we will realise our sins, repent and seek his forgiveness. As was the case with David, God’s forgiveness and restoration followed next. God’s hand of discipline is a hand of love.
“Sin may be hidden from others, but never from God.” (ODB, June 2011)