Psa.32: 2 (KJV)
2 Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
It has been observed that many men play tricks with God and their consciences. The guile of the human heart shows itself in a refusal to come to serious consideration. The most frivolous amusements, the most carking cares, and even the most weary ceremonials of fashions, are adopted as a happy release from the labor of reflection. Death, judgment, eternity, heaven, and hell–they dare not think of these: and why? Because they know that all is wrong with them, and so they practice a crafty carelessness and a cunning indifference. Others who do think a little are partial in their judgments of themselves. They present accounts, but these are cooked and made to appear other than they should by a sort of spiritual financing. Many are evidently tricking themselves willfully because they rest on such frivolous grounds of confidence.
Here the Psalmist say, happy is the man whose sin is not “reckoned” to him, or “charged” on him. The reference here is “to his own sin.” The idea is not, that he is happy on whom God does not charge the guilt of other men, but that he is happy who is not charged “with his own guilt,” or who is treated as if he had no guilt; that is, as if he were innocent. This is the true idea of justification. It is, that a man, although he is a sinner, and “is conscious” of having violated the law of God, is treated as if he had not committed sin, or as if he were innocent; that is, he is pardoned, and his sins are remembered against him no more; and it is the purpose of God to treat him henceforward as if he were innocent. The act of pardon does not change the facts in the case, or “make him innocent,” but it makes it proper for God to treat him as if he were innocent. The sin will not be re-charged upon him, or reckoned to his account; but he is admitted to the same kind of treatment to which he would be entitled if he had always been perfectly holy.
He goes further to say only those who are sincere and true. That is, who are not hypocrites; who are conscious of no desire to cover up or to conceal their offences; who make a frank and full confession to God, imploring pardon. The “guile” here refers to the matter under consideration. The idea is not who are “innocent,” or “without guilt,” but who are sincere, frank, and honest in making “confession” of their sins; who keep nothing back when they go before God. We cannot go before him and plead our innocence, but we may go before him with the feeling of conscious sincerity and honesty in making confession of our guilt.
In this clause the Psalmist distinguishes believers both from hypocrites and from senseless despisers of God, neither of whom care for this happiness, nor can they attain to the enjoyment of it. The wicked are, indeed, conscious to themselves of their guilt, but still they delight in their wickedness; harden themselves in their impudence, and laugh at threatenings; or, at least, they indulge themselves in deceitful flatteries, that they may not be constrained to come into the presence of God. Yea, though they are rendered unhappy by a sense of their misery, and harassed with secret torments, yet with perverse forgetfulness they stifle all fear of God. As for hypocrites, if their conscience as any time stings them, they soothe their pain with ineffectual remedies: so that if God at any time cite them to his tribunal, they place before them I know not what phantoms for their defense; and they are never without coverings whereby they may keep the light out of their hearts. Both these classes of men are hindered by inward guile from seeking their happiness in the fatherly love of God.
Have a great and godly day!