A poem of insight and instruction, by King David

1 How happy and fulfilled are those

whose rebellion has been forgiven,

those whose sins are covered by blood.

2 How blessed and relieved are those

who have confessed their corruption to God!

For he wipes their slates clean

and removes hypocrisy from their hearts.

3 Before I confessed my sins, I kept it all inside;

my dishonesty devastated my inner life,

causing my life to be filled with frustration,

irrepressible anguish, and misery.

4 The pain never let up, for your hand of conviction

was heavy on my heart.

My strength was sapped, my inner life dried up

like a spiritual drought within my soul.

Pause in his presence

5 Then I finally admitted to you all my sins,

refusing to hide them any longer.

I said, “My life-giving God,

I will openly acknowledge my evil actions.”

And you forgave me!

All at once the guilt of my sin washed away

and all my pain disappeared!

Pause in his presence

6 This is what I’ve learned through it all:

All believers should confess their sins to God;

do it every time God has uncovered you

in the time of exposing.

For if you do this, when sudden storms of life overwhelm,

you’ll be kept safe.

7 Lord, you are my secret hiding place,

protecting me from these troubles,

surrounding me with songs of gladness!

Your joyous shouts of rescue release my breakthrough.

Pause in his presence

8-9 I hear the Lord saying, “I will stay close to you,

instructing and guiding you along the pathway for your life.

I will advise you along the way

and lead you forth with my eyes as your guide.

So don’t make it difficult; don’t be stubborn

when I take you where you’ve not been before.

Don’t make me tug you and pull you along.

Just come with me!”

10 So my conclusion is this:

Many are the sorrows and frustrations

of those who don’t come clean with God.

But when you trust in the Lord for forgiveness,

his wrap-around love will surround you.

11 So celebrate the goodness of God!

He shows this kindness to everyone who is his.

Go ahead—shout for joy,

all you upright ones who want to please him!


This psalm is beautiful in any translation. What I find interesting is that the translator calls it a poem. In fact he calls the Book of Psalms Poetry on Fire. I was thinking, while I read this psalm that we should read the psalms more often just for the enjoyment of the words. Just to experience the emotion the author felt while writing. We should read them the way we read poetry and see it as a work of literature and not as a teaching. I am not suggesting that we always do it this way, but certainly some of the time. I love reading some of the Old Testament books like I read a story. Just to enjoy the interactions of the characters and feel the atmosphere of the times they lived in. If we don’t always see the bible as a book we have to read because God (or the pastor) said so, but as a great work of literature full of amazing tales of valour, heroic deeds, passion and deceit, we might begin to see it in a different light. Obviously we can read the bible in different ways at different times. What we need to remember is that there isn’t a proper way to read it. The way you are reading the bible at any time is the right way for you at that time. If your friend reads three chapters a day and you can only handle three verses at a time then it is right for you. People can easily be put off reading their bibles and praying because of the way people portray the right way of doing it. It can be very confusing and condemning when someone who sees themselves as an expert tells you how you are supposed to be doing it. If you feel you don’t measure up you can easily give up. I’m not an expert, but in my own way I’ve navigated through the Bible a few times and it has benefitted me spiritually.

I just want to encourage you to do it your way. Ask God to show you how and ask the Holy Spirit to open up the Word to you and to keep leading you to Jesus. Now go and enjoy your Bible.