THE WEEK OF QUINQUAGESIMA – ASH WEDNESDAY

LESSON: PSALM 32:1-7

If thou, O Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. Psalm 130:3,4

David says in the psalm, “I acknowledged my sin to thee, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord;’ then thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:5). No one can stand before God without bringing this confession of sins with him. That is why the psalmist also declares; “If thou, O Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared” (Psalm 130:3,4).

Anyone who really wants to stand before God must be quite sure that this confession of sins really comes from his heart and firmly believe that, unless the Lord is merciful to him, all is lost, no matter how pious he is in himself. Even all the saints must acknowledge the need of God’s continual grace and mercy and in all humility confess their sins before Him.

There is no difference here, for all have sinned. If anyone has received special grace, thank God for it and do not boast. If anyone has fallen into sin, it simply demonstrates that he is flesh and blood. But no one has fallen so deeply that one who stands may not fall ever deeper. As far as we are concerned, there is no difference between us and others; it is God’s grace alone that divides us from others.

This confession of sin is so necessary that we dare not overlook it for a moment. It must be our concern during our whole life as a Christian. Without ceasing we must evermore praise God’s grace and recognize that all boasting on our part is vain before God.

SL.XI.584,4-5
AE 76,434

PRAYER: Because of your wonderful grace, Lord God, loving heavenly Father, we poor sinners can stand before you, confessing our sins. When we do this, give us the assurance of the forgiveness of sins, in and through our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.