‘Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.’ (Psalm 32v2)
It is perhaps not surprising that the same verse should be found in the Book of Romans several centuries later. The only difference being that while the psalmist imagined the ‘Lord’ as some sort of ethereal entity, the apostle Paul understood ‘Lord’ as referring to Jesus Christ who he was shocked to discover was both God and incarnate. Moreover, a risen and glorious saviour in his transformed state.
For the psalmist, the statement “Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them” sounds more like a theoretical hopefulness rather than a rock solid promise of God’s future reality. However, for Saul – the persecutor of Christians everywhere – his call is more stark as he is questioned by God as to why he continues to persecute by arrresting and imprisoning the Christian community? Saul can utter nothing other than one question:
‘Who are you Lord?’ (Acts 9v5)
And so from this encounter with the risen Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus, Saul’s old way of life and doing things is swept away as he takes the first step into becoming useful to God’s purposes as the apostle Paul – a journey into which he will truly learn the meaning of how ‘Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.’