Psalm 32

Talks for Growing Christians

A Psalm of Confession and Forgiveness

Psalm 32

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Lesson Number 23

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Godly sorrow results in repentance and salvation.
  2. Godly instruction results in direction and joy.

Practical Application

  1. Keep short accounts with God.


  1. In this psalm, David speaks of keeping silent about a sin that he had committed. What sin was this?
  2. What other psalm is similar to Psalm 32?
  3. In what way does godly sorrow result in salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10)?
  4. When David confessed his sin, were all his problems resolved?
  5. Explain the illustration about the horse or mule (verse 9).


  1. It was likely David’s sin of committing adultery with Bathsheba and then having her husband Uriah killed in order to cover up the evidence.
  2. Psalm 51, which was written soon after the prophet Nathan confronted David with his sin.
  3. In the case of an unbeliever, godly sorrow will lead to repentance and eternal salvation from the penalty of sin. In the case of a believer, godly sorrow will lead to repentance and salvation or deliverance from the discipline of God.
  4. No, David still had to face the consequences for his sin, but his fellowship with the Lord was restored.
  5. We should not be like a horse or mule which must be led by a bit and bridle, rather we should willingly seek out godly instruction.


  1. David’s unconfessed sin affected him mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Have you ever experienced this anguish when you tried to cover up sin in your life? What happened when you finally confessed that sin?
  2. There were still consequences for David’s sin, but his confession restored his fellowship with the Lord. Why is it important to distinguish this? Discuss how the restored fellowship equipped David to face the consequences ahead.


  1. Keep a short account with God, so your fellowship with Him will not be disrupted. It does you no good to hide and cover up your sin.

Key Verses

  • "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered." Psalm 32:1
  • "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye." Psalm 32:8

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