July 15, 2020·Scott McBride
“Wear a mask. Wash your hands.” Besides wearing a mask, what’s the biggest change you’ve made in your personal habits or routines since COVID-19 started? How aware are you of the germs you carry or come in contact with? How often do you wash your hands? Or, have your habits all stayed the same?
My guess is that you, like me, have changed a lot of behaviors — being more aware of the consequences of the germs we carry.
Over 3000 years ago, the king of Israel was called out for his sinful behavior of taking another man’s wife, getting her pregnant and then murdering that same man (see 2 Samuel 12 for the whole confrontation). It was at that point of recognition and being called to account for his personal actions that King David wrote this poignant psalm:
A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to Your unfailing love;
according to Your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Straight up confession. Once confronted, David owned his mistakes, his sin. He didn’t make excuses; he went right to God.
Confession is vital for us as Christ followers. Proverbs 28:13 says. “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” King David was totally guilty, and he wrote this famous passage as part of his response to not just getting caught, but acknowledging his failures and sin. Last week, we read another verse about confession from King David, “I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin” (Psalm 38:18). As awkward as confession might seem to us, David understood the power of confession and practiced it.
How often did David miss his own sin? I don’t mean just the murder and adultery, but all the little compromises — sins that led him to the point where he compromised again and again, in larger and more devastating ways.
How often do I miss my sin? Not the HUGE stuff, but the little stuff. (You don’t have to answer for me.😃) Earlier this year, I was having my daily time with God, reading the Bible, journaling and praying, when the thought hit me that I don’t confess to God very often. I recognized that I wasn’t as self-aware about my sin condition, that I wasn’t actively assessing and bringing things to God as they happened. As I thought through it, I realized that my relationship with God wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I made a point of trying to raise my sin awareness, as well as my confession approach with God.
This Psalm has great thoughts and great words. This Psalm is here to help us. It’s not just a little squirt of Purell on our hands to sanitize them, it’s here to help us walk through a process of getting right with God. Not just confession, but change and restoration. It’s all here.
In 1 John 1:9, John says this to us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
ALL. Not part or some. But… ALL. That’s a promise we can hold on to as we confess.
I encourage us all to live a more examined life this week. When stuff comes up (SIN), we should stop right where we are and bring it to God. Ask Him for forgiveness right away. Don’t let it build up. Take care of it on the spot.
Pastor Scott McBride