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Pointers along the way #372

Covering our sins
- Jacob Ninan

When Adam and Eve had sinned, what they did was to hide from God (Ge.3:8). When God confronted them about their sin they tried to pass the blame to someone else (vv.12,13). These two who had been created 'innocent' did not know how to handle the sense of guilt that had suddenly come upon them. It was a very painful feeling they had to face, and they did everything they could to avoid feeling the pain.

What do we do when we have sinned, or made a mistake? Do we also try to cover it up hoping that no one would notice, avoid thinking about it in order to avoid the pain, pass on the blame to someone else so that we can feel safe, or justify it in our mind saying that we wouldn't have done it except for the fact that someone or something else 'made' us do it? Then it shows us that we don't really know God the way He really is.

Think of what David did when the prophet Nathan confronted him about adultery and murder, sins that could have required him to be put to death for! Here it was much more than the mental agony of owning up to the guilt of his sins; there was also the possibility of losing his life. But David said, "I have sinned against the Lord" (2Sa.12:13). What did the Lord do to him? He was forgiven immediately. Of course he suffered many consequences because of his sin, but he was totally forgiven by God, and God continued to call him 'a man after God's own heart' (Ac.13:22). What would have happened to him if he had tried instead to cover up his sins?

David knew God, and His heart. He was one of the few who had entered into a love relationship with God above the level of the Old Testament which operated on the basis of blessings and curses depending on obedience to God's commandments (De.28). He knew God's mercy and lovingkindness (Ps.51:1). He knew God had no pleasure in punishing the sinner but in saving the sinner from his sins (Ps.32:1,2). He knew that if he acknowledged and confessed his sin to God there would be forgiveness and not judgment (Ps.32:5).

"He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion" (Pr.28:13). It is far better to acknowledge our sin to God (Je.3:13), and receive forgiveness than to cover it up, pass the blame or find justification for it, and then suffer misery, lack of joy, fear of getting exposed, etc. When we really see the heart of God we find that He longs to be gracious to us (Is.30:18), rather than waiting to catch us in our sins. He wants us to enjoy the blessing of sins forgiven (Ps.32:1).

Perhaps those who have grown up in strict families where any mistake would receive a rebuke and where grace (undeserved favour) was rare find it hard to think of our Heavenly Father as being loving, merciful and compassionate. That will begin to change when we take the first step of going to Him, and honestly admit our sins to Him. Then gratitude, love, and admiration will replace any fear, guilt or anxiety we may have had before Him.


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