Covering Our Sin

Psalm 32:1, Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

When we get caught in a legal or moral wrong, we instantly try to cover it up. When a criminal gets caught, he comes up with all sorts of excuses to try and cover his tracks. As average citizens, whenever we get caught doing something immoral, we give excuses and try to cover our tracks. We did this all the time as kids—our parents catch us doing something we’re not supposed to do, and we try to cover it up by trying to rationalise our way out of it, but it never works. We still do this as adults—we’re still little children trying to hide our wrongs from our Father. A friend tells you a secret and you promise not to tell anyone; then you tell someone their secret, they find out, and then they confront you as you try to rationalise yourself and cover it up, and you go down in history as a false confidant. When we get caught doing what we’re not supposed to do, we often wish we had just confessed right away.

In Psalm 32, David shares the wisdom of coming clean before God instead of trying to rationalise our sins away and cover them up. No matter the Christian—and no matter the unbeliever—we always try to hide our sins from God. But our efforts are foolish; God already knows what we’ve done. We might rationalise sin like, “Well, gay people love each other so that makes it okay since love is love.” Not only does this not explain anything, but rationalise it and cover it up all you want, God has already defined sin; we don’t get to redefine it. We may not like it, but we don’t get a say in the matter, so get over your self-inflamed sense of authority.

We might also say, “I love my girlfriend/boyfriend; that’s why I had sex with him/her so that makes it okay.” No, God’s Word says fornication (sex outside of marriage) is a sin. It doesn’t matter that you love your boyfriend or girlfriend; sex belongs in the marriage bed only, according to God’s Word. Or even more simply, “I lied to my friend to protect him/myself.” Despite your good intentions, a lie is still a lie, and it is still a sin. And if you lie to protect yourself, the narcissism is even another sin.

I hope you see what I’m getting at. We sin, and when we love our sin more than God, we come up with rationalisations to justify ourselves and cover it up. But it never works. To us, it might seem legitimate, but God’s Word with His authority says otherwise no matter how we choose to look at it. There is good news, however. God promises forgiveness and mercy when we are honest with Him (and ourselves) and confess our sins before Him. “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). When we rationalise our actions, we are trying to justify ourselves, but justification comes from Christ alone. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

We are guilty of sin, and we can never hide it from God. “O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from You” (Psalm 69:5). When the nation of Judah was in constant sin, God said, “For My eyes are on all their ways. They are not hidden from Me, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes. But first I will double repay their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted My land with the carcasses of their detestable idols, and have filled My inheritance with their abominations” (Jeremiah 16:17-18).

As you can see, it is useless to hide our sin from God because it is impossible to hide them from Him. God is omniscient; He sees all things. He sees our personal sins and He sees the sins of our nation—our nation’s idols and abominations as well as our own; and unless we repent, He will deal with them justly. However, there is always good news in Jesus Christ our Lord: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9). We are not hopeless. God does not just leave us in our sin to rot and die. God desires that we turn to Him and come to know Him and as we confess our sins before Him, He promises to take them away.

As we attempt to cover up our sins, when we come to Christ it is His sacrificial blood that covers them and justifies us. Where we try to cover our sins with our weak rationalisations, Jesus Christ came to cover our sins with His blood and has thus reconciled us to the Father (see 2 Corinthians 5:18-21). And so, when God looks at His children, He sees not our sin, but us covered in the blood of Christ, fully justified for His sake.

Cover your sin, God will expose it. Expose your sin, God will cover it.

Hebrews 9:22b, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”

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