God Knows our Secret Sin
Category : General
Psalm 19: 12(KJV)
12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.
It is said, t here is no kind of knowledge which it is so important for a man to possess as knowledge of himself. No man can be blind to himself without sooner or later having to pay serious penalty for such blindness.
The word rendered errors is derived from a verb which means to wander, to go astray; then, to do wrong, to transgress. It refers here to wanderings, or departures from the law of God, and the question seems to have been asked in view of the purity, the strictness, and the extent of the law of God. In view of a law so pure, so holy, so strict in its demands, and so extended in its requirements – asserting jurisdiction over the thoughts, the words, and the whole life – who can recall the number of times that he has departed from such a law? A sentiment somewhat similar is found in Psalm 119:96, “I have seen an end of all perfection; thy commandment is exceeding broad.” The language is such as every man who has any just sense of the nature and the requirements of the law, and a just view of his own life, must use in reference to himself. The reason why any man is elated with a conviction of his own goodness is that he has no just sense of the requirements of the law of God; and the more anyone studies that law, the more will he be convinced of the extent of his own depravity.
At this point the Psalmist pauses. He has been looking at his life in the light of the holy law, and, realizing how full of imperfection it was, he resumes again in a penitential strain, “Who can understand his errors?” There is not only the acknowledgment that life is full of error; there is corruption at the very spring of life. He also acknowledges the difficulty of understanding our errors. Sin destroys the power by which we detect it. It creates a false standard, by which we judge ourselves. There is a personal touch in this acknowledgment. “Who can understand his own errors?” The sinner is sometimes sharp in discerning the errors of other people, although blind to his own. And so it was with David himself. We are all too ready to acknowledge sin in a general way, without trying to note the particular sins we are most guilty of. There follows the prayer, “Cleanse Thou me from secret faults
Hence, the importance of preaching the law, that sinners may be brought to conviction of sin; hence the importance of presenting it constantly before the mind of even the believer, that he may be kept from pride, and may walk humbly before God. And who is there that can understand his own errors? Who can number up the sins of a life? Who can make an estimate of the number of impure and unholy thoughts which, in the course of many years, have flitted through, or found a lodgment in the mind? Who can number up the words which have been spoken and should not have been spoken? Who can recall the forgotten sins and follies of a life – the sins of childhood, of youth, of riper years? There is but one Being in the universe that can do this. To Him all this is known. Nothing has escaped His observation; nothing has faded from His memory. Nothing can prevent His making a full disclosure of this if He shall choose to do so. It is in His power at any moment to overwhelm the soul with the recollection of all this guilt; it is in His power to cover us with confusion and shame at the revelation of the judgment-day. Our only hope – our only security – that He will not do this, is in His mercy; and that He may not do it, we should without delay seek His mercy, and pray that our sins may be so blotted out that they shall not be disclosed to us and to assembled worlds when we appear before Him.
It is not possible, without much of the Divine light, to understand all our deviations from, not only the letter, but the spirituality, of the Divine law. Frequent self-examination, and walking in the light, are essentially necessary to the requisite degree of spiritual perfection. Therefore, to acquire a knowledge of our sinfulness is exceedingly difficult. This may be inferred from the fact that very few acquire this knowledge, and that none acquire it perfectly. We learn, both from observation and from the Scriptures, that of those sins of the heart, in which men’s errors or sinfulness principally consist in the sight of God, they are all by nature entirely ignorant.
Have a great and God filled day!