What does Psalm 32:10 mean?
ESV: Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.
NIV: Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD's unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.
NASB: The sorrows of the wicked are many, But the one who trusts in the Lord, goodness will surround him.
CSB: Many pains come to the wicked, but the one who trusts in the Lord will have faithful love surrounding him.
NLT: Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.
KJV: Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.
NKJV: Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.
Verse Commentary:
David describes the wicked as having many sorrows. In this Psalm, he has noted the conviction and misery which come along with unconfessed, unrepentant sin (Psalm 32:1–4). David experienced that thanks to his own deep moral failure (Psalm 51. To follow God and avoid suffering the consequences of sin (Proverbs 8:34–36), one must be open to God's loving correction (Psalm 32:8–9).

From the fall of Adam and Eve, mankind has been on a perpetual hunt for happiness somewhere other than in God. That search always ends in emptiness and sorrow. Solomon searched for satisfaction in several places, but his search was unsuccessful. He concluded that everything short of God—anything "under the sun"—is "vanity," meaning transitory or empty. He finally found life's meaning and happiness in God and advised others to "Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, 'I have no pleasure in them'" (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

Unbelievers who reject God must expect to receive many sorrows. Some of those come through earthly consequences, others don't become clear until eternity. By contrast, those who trust in the Lord live in the circle of God's unfailing love. As Psalm 1:1–2 points out, the person who rejects evil but delights in the Lord and His Word is "blessed."
Verse Context:
Psalm 32:10–11 concludes on a high, positive note. David contrasts the condition of the wicked with the condition of those who trust in the Lord. This comes in the context of those who recognize their sin, admit it to God, and receive forgiveness as a result. His final verse calls upon the righteous to rejoice and shout for joy.
Chapter Summary:
This psalm follows a progression of David's own experience: from the pressure of resisting confession, to the relief of being forgiven, to a renewed appreciation of God's graciousness for His people. David notes that being forgiven of sin is a great blessing, and those who resist repentance are delaying that restoration. He reflects on his own experience with stubbornness and encourages all people to seek God in sincerity.
Chapter Context:
Psalm 32 follows David's confession of the sins of adultery and murder. Psalm 51 records his initial response when confronted by the prophet Nathan. The background of David's sin, Nathan's rebuke, and the aftermath are found in 2 Samuel 11—12. For some undisclosed time, David refused to acknowledge his sin, but when he finally confessed it, the Lord graciously forgave him.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
Accessed 5/20/2024 10:52:33 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.