Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Today’s verse (Psalm 32:11) brings to mind the movie Pollyanna. It’s one we watched many times when I was a kid, and now my nieces enjoy it. Pollyanna spoke of the “glad texts” in Scripture, something her father, a missionary, had helped her to do. At one point the local minister stays up all night counting these glad texts, and finds over 800 of them.
It’s a simple point in the movie, but one that makes sense, and is the point of what I’m doing with this blog this year. There’s a lot of Scripture devoted to warning – whole books of the prophets are dedicated to it. But there is also a great deal of invitation to rejoice. The warnings aren’t a “be good or God is gonna get you!” but more of a reminder of what the natural consequences are for certain types of action. In the gospels, it is not the worst of the sinners that Jesus lashes out against, but the “holy” folks who claimed to have it all figured out.
But in this verse, the “righteous” and the “upright” are not the Pharisaical leaders, but those who trust in the Lord. The verse comes at the end of a Psalm that begins, “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” The same one whose sin is forgiven is called righteous and upright. That is the source of our joy, the forgiveness that completely washes away all of our sins. Praise the Lord!