English Basic Explanation - Chapter 32
This Psalm expresses David's anxiety as a result of his misdeeds, and his profound envy of those who have no need to feel such apprehension. David's concern about the repercussions and consequences of his sins allow him no rest and even cause him physical discomfort (verses 3-4). He is thus jealous of those who can feel secure in their standing before God, who have no demerits in their account, and can therefore feel at ease without worrying about what tomorrow might bring.
This chapter also contains a philosophical statement about the benefits of suffering. In verses 8-9, David admonishes that we not act foolishly like animals which often react angrily when they are cared for by their owners, not realizing that the owners act in their own best interest. When we are confronted by hardship and challenge, we – unlike the animals – must understand that God subjects us to these difficulties for our own well-being, for the purpose of cleansing us of our misdeeds so that we can ultimately earn His favor and loving kindness.
Of course, as David writes in the Psalm's conclusion, it is far preferable not to require atonement in the first place. The righteous among the nation can rejoice and exult without fearing the prospect of harsh divine retribution. This Psalm thus reminds us that whatever temporary benefit we might gain from transgressing the Torah is more than offset by the unending anxiety to which we subject ourselves by doing so. We are well advised to follow the path of the righteous and just, and thereby spare ourselves the angst and torment that result from the constant threat of punishment.