Psalm 32 - giving understanding - Blessed is he whose transgression's removed
This Psalm is the 1st Maschil Psalm in the Bilble. There are 13 Maschil psalms (32, 44-45, 52-55, 74, 78, 88-89, 142). "Maschil" is the causitive (Hiphil) participle of the verb sakal, which means "understand" used in v8. Hence Maschil means "causing to understand" or "giving understanding".

This psalm is about the blessedness of having our sins forgiven by God (Rom 4:6-7). This is the only way to have a spotless conscience. The word here, as all Biblical words in context, gives no ground for irresponsibility on our part. However, the central message is that it is impossible to obtain this blessed state by works, but by trusting the Lord (v10).
 
v1 -  "removed" is litterally "lifted".
 
v2 - verses 1-2 are quoted by Paul in Romans 4:6-8.
 
v3 - "concealed my guilt" is literally "kept silent".
 
v4 - "life" is literally "moisture" or "life sap"
"heat" is literally "drought".
 
v6 - literally "Upon this shall all saints
pray unto Thee in a time when You may be found. Only thus, when great waters overflow, they shall not come nigh him. "
 
v7 - The Lord is my hiding place, and He keeps me from trouble. This does not mean that we do not have troubles, but that in the troubles the Lord is with Me as Supplier and Protector. In v4 the Lord's hand was heavy upon me day and night. Here, in this verse, the type of songs that the Lord compasses me about with are songs of deliverance.
 
v8-  Lit. "I will cause you to understand and will direct you in this way you should go. I will counsel you. ..."
The Hebrew verb for "cause you to understand" in this verse is the same as in the Psalm title, Maschil.
This is one of my all time favorite verses. It is the experience of the New Covenant (Heb 8:11; Isa 54:13). There is a wonderful hymn based on this verse, "Precious Promise God doth give thee" .

"My eye is upon you" is comforting and constraining. In what I am going through, the Lord's eye is upon me. Knowing that the Lord's eye is upon me causes me to live and think before the Lord.
 
v9 - "bridle" is literally "bit and bridle"

We should  pray not only when we are in troubles. If we only pray when in troubles, we are like a horse or mule without understanding, only coming to Him when the environment constrains us to.
 
v10 - The opposite of "wicked" is to "trust the Lord".  It is wonderful to have mercy surround us. Mercy surrounds each one individually who trusts the Lord.
 
v11 - The righteous and upright in heart are those who trust the Lord in v10.

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updated 4/26/2011
updated 3/16/2010 Steve Miller