What does Psalm 32:8 mean?
ESV: I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
NIV: I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
NASB: I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will advise you with My eye upon you.
CSB: I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with my eye on you, I will give counsel.
NLT: The Lord says, 'I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.
KJV: I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
NKJV: I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.
Verse Commentary:
Prior verses noted the blessing of being forgiven of sin (Psalm 32:1–4) and the painful experience which comes from resisting God's conviction of sin (Psalm 32:5–7). Here, the advice being given might come from God, or from David. The practical application is the same, regardless of who is meant to be speaking these words. Commentators differ on which is intended but agree on the overall meaning of the passage.

Those who follow godly wisdom (Proverbs 1:7) can expect to learn the best way to live life (Proverbs 8:34–36). David disregarded God's plan by sinning (Psalm 51:1). A loving parent keeps his eyes on his child. He sees where the child endangers himself, perhaps by not looking as he crosses the street. Then the parent calls to the child and tells him what to do.

How does the Lord teach and guide believers? Jesus said He goes before His sheep and they follow Him (John 10:4). The apostle Peter indicates that Christ left us an example, so that we might follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21). Jesus' life and complete submission to the Father, therefore, teaches and guides believers. Further, the Scriptures provide instruction so believers can be what God wants them to be and do what He wants them to do (2 Timothy 3:16–17). Psalm 119:105 testifies, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." And, of course, the indwelling Holy Spirit guides and transforms believers (Romans 8:26–30; 1 Corinthains 2:10–16; Philippians 2:12–13).
Verse Context:
Psalm 32:8–9 is interpreted differently by various scholars. These could be seen as the words of God, speaking to David and others willing to confess their sins. Or they could be David's own words as he applies his experience with confession (Psalm 32:1–2; Psalm 51:1) through the role of a teacher. In either case, these contain good advice and warn against reacting negatively to good counsel. The psalm has so far praised the Lord's forgiveness and protection (Psalm 32:5–7). Now these verses include a promise and a prohibition.
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.
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