What is sin? What comes to your mind? Would you call yourself a sinner? If so, could you name three specific sins you committed today? Are there sinful actions or attitudes in your life recently? While many believe sin exists and would reluctantly acknowledge that we sin we are often slow to list the specific sins we are struggling with at the moment. Let’s ask another question and that is why do we struggle with sin?
In Psalm 32, David uses three words to describe his offense against God. He calls it transgression, sin and iniquity. Remember the psalms are poems and a poet is very intentional in word choice. David is not trying to avoid a redundant use of the word sin as he uses these three different words. He is trying to teach us a lesson.
The word transgression has a meaning of rebellion. It is open, undefiled rebellion against God. David simply did not want to obey God. He rejected God’s authority, command and leadership in his life and chose lust, adultery and murder instead.
The word sin has a meaning of disobeying the law of God. David was a student of God’s Word and he knew the commands of God. Yet, in his sinfulness he disregarded those commands and chose to do what he pleased. His desires became his law.
The final word, iniquity, has a sense of knowing deep down what is right and doing the opposite. We might understand this by thinking of times we went against our own common sense. God has stamped certain laws in the human heart and there is a universal understanding that certain actions are simply wrong. Ultimately, we disobey God when we reject these things we know to be right.
So what is sin? It is rebellion against God, rejecting what He commands and doing what we please. In essence, it is making us the god of our lives. We want to be king, lord and ruler. Sin is how we carry this out.
But there is hope. God promises forgiveness to those that seek it. Psalm 32 is not about sin only. It is also about forgiveness and the joy of obedience. David says the burdening weight of his disobedience was lifted off of him when he repented. He says God replaced it with comfort and rest. Not only those, but freedom from guilt and shame as well. Want to know this hope and peace? Surrender your rebellion, embrace Christ and find the rest He freely gives.