What Does Psalm 32:8 Mean?

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

Psalm 32:8(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

There are certain Psalms that resonate with the spirit of a saved man, and Psalm 32 is one such sacred song. It opens with David considering how blessed are those whose transgression are forgiven and whose sin is covered, "How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity," he writes, "and in whose spirit there is no deceit!"

In these opening words, the psalmist is talking about all who are reckoned as righteous, because of their faith. Abraham is the classic example of a man of faith, for he believed God and his faith was credited to him as righteousness.

Saved man celebrates his justifying grace, because he has been transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's illuminating light and perfect peace. He rejoices that his human spirit has been enlivened by the Holy Spirit and instead of being enslaved to sin, at enmity with God, under eternal condemnation, and without hope in the world, he becomes part of God's new creation in Christ, and is promised joy in the eternal ages to come.

But David's celebration is not simply about the justified aspect of his salvation, for once redeemed... the man of faith must choose to walk by faith and to live by faith. David is celebrating this sanctifying grace. This sanctifying aspect of his salvation from God is ours, as we grow in grace and mature in the faith.

Everyone who is justified is called to spiritual maturity through a life-process of sanctification. Every believer who is justified will also be glorified. Everyone who is saved is POSITIONALLY sanctified, but they should also travel along a path of PROGRESSIVE sanctification. Sadly, not all believers reach and maintain spiritual maturity, because sin causes fellowship with the Father to be broken. Sin causes maturing saints to regress into spiritual infancy, for sin separates us from God. Only when sin is confessed by a believer, is fellowship restored.

David had committed some serious sins in his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah, her husband. Sin not only separates the unsaved from God. Sin also causes a barrier to be erected between God and a saved man, when he sins. Sin separates the carnal believer who decides to go his own way, instead of God's way. Sin separated David from the Lord, because sin puts an immovable barrier between us and God... until and unless sin is confessed.

Like many of us, David chose to do the evil and refused the good. David knew the Word of God forbade adultery and murder, but he chose to embrace his fleeting passion and lost his precious connection with the Lord. The Spirit was grieved, a barrier was erected and for many a long month, the king was silent about his sin and estranged from God, which affected his health and caused his body to waste away. David was saved - but out of fellowship with the Lord.

David discovered that unconfessed sin haunts the conscience of a believer and contributes to health problems and heavy-heartedness. The well-being, happiness, strength, and inner peace of the believer, is swept away by the floodwaters of a troubled conscience which stagnates into melancholy.

It was only when David stopped hiding his sin and said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD," that God forgave the guilt of his sin. David discovered the joy of doing what is right and eschewing the evil... and in this psalm, he encourages everyone who is godly to do the same. He found his joy in the Lord returned, a lesson had been learned, his depression was lifted, fellowship restored, and his sweeter relationship with God was re-established.

David discovered that the flood-waters of despair and despondency were dissipated, and he cried out, "You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance." David learned an important lesson and found a closeness with the Lord he had not experienced before. As a result, David received a promise from God that he enjoyed for the rest of his life, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you."

When lessons have been learned and fellowship is restored and maintained, God always brings us into closer communion with Himself. We will not only hear His voice saying, "this is the way, walk in it," but He will guide us with His eye, teach us greater truths, extend our understanding of Himself and deepen our intimacy in a very precious and personal way.

When one lesson is learned, another is forthcoming. David was to yield to the Lord and not resist His chastening rod. He was to be prepared to walk God's better way rather than follow his own imperfect whims. He was to surrender His imperfect will so that the perfect will of God may be fulfilled in his life. 

May we learn this important lesson, keep a short rein on sin, and be ready and willing to learn the lessons God has to teach us. May we allow His counsel to lead us in the decisions we make in life - for when we delight ourselves in the Lord HE gives us the desires of our heart. 

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, there are many times when I have failed to listen to Your voice, gone my own way, and fallen flat on my face! Thank You that I can confess my faults to You, and that You are faithful and just to forgive all my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Help me to grow in grace, mature in the faith, and draw ever closer to You. Keep me alert to your instructions, show me the path I should go, and guide me with Your eye, I pray. How wonderful to know that You have scheduled every day of my life for my greater benefit. May I never stray from Your perfect path, and may my life be a godly witness to others and a blessing to You. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.

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