“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” Psalm 32:1-2
Author Ernest Hemingway wrote a short story entitled, “The Capitol of the World”. Set in Madrid, Spain, it tells the story of young man named Paco who had strained his relationship with his father by an act of betrayal and then furthers shatters the connection by deliberately running away from home to escape his father’s rules, care, and responsibility.
Paco’s father begins a long and arduous journey to find his rebellious son. After months and months of searching and coming up empty, Paco’s father decides to place an advertisement in the newspaper to perhaps catch the attention of his beloved son, Paco.
The advertisement was simple and direct: “Dear Paco, meet me in front of the newspaper office tomorrow at noon. All is forgiven. Love, Your Father.” To the father’s great astonishment, when he arrived to greet his estranged son, there were almost 800 young men named Paco waiting in front of the newspaper office to reconcile and receive their Father’s forgiveness.
Deep down we all desperately long for forgiveness, like all the sons named Paco in Hemingway’s story. We all want to know and trust, that even when we run away, our Heavenly Father pursues us, not to scold us and not merely to get justice; rather, he searches for us to forgive us, to reconcile with us, and to heal the shattered relationships.
King David, the author of Psalm 32, is praised as “a man after God’s own heart” in the Bible, and yet he also did some unspeakable things that shattered God’s heart and required deep forgiveness from God. In Psalm 32, David is letting us know what he has discovered about God that sets him apart from all others: he forgives the guilt of David’s (and our) sin.
We ask, “Who is God?” Psalm 32 reminds us that God is a God of grace and forgiveness. Instead of ignoring our sin or telling us to fix ourselves, God absorbs our offenses and pays for our failures. He runs after us to reclaim us and forgive us!
John Stott, an influential and famous pastor/scholar in London had an interaction with Margaret Laski an outspoken atheist in which she confessed, “What I envy most about you Christians is your forgiveness. I have nobody to forgive me.”
The beauty of Christianity and the grace of God in Jesus Christ is he is a God who forgives! When we confess our sin and own our failure before him, we always have someone to forgive us – we have someone who graciously announces, “All is forgiven. Love, your Father.”