I Did Not Cover My Iniquity

April 21, 2020

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah. – Psalms 32:1-5

When David says, I did not cover my iniquity” what does that mean? Think of the first thing that Adam and Eve do in the garden after they sinned? They made coverings to hide their nakedness. Their sin revealed to them their nakedness – the shame and self-awareness that as humans all we all have. We also want to cover up our sin so that other people do not see our flaws, our imperfections, our vulnerabilities. We want people to think good of us and we can’t bear to be judged by others.

So when we sin we cover it up. But God sees it doesn’t He? So how do we cover it up before God? We make excuses: “It wasn’t my fault, the woman you gave me made me do it!” Or we justify it with “everybody does that from time to time… its not wrong, it’s a grey area… or I was tired, I was vulnerable, I was weak… all are excuses that try to cover our sin before God. But God demands that we agree with his assessment of what we have done. It is sin and it is wrong. That is confession, agreeing with the person you wronged and feeling the weight of it.

Sometimes confession is not true confession. The sorrow we feel for our sin is sorrow for the consequences of sin and not for the iniquity of the sin. We are sorry we got caught, not sorry we sinned.  Notice David says, I did not cover my iniquity? He does not use the word sin here he uses a word that describes sin?  He doesn’t make an attempt to make his sin appear “not so sinful” but he sees his sin the way God sees sin – ugly and horrible, devastating to our lives and the people around us.

David says God forgave the iniquity of his sin. Sounds like double talk doesn’t it. We tend to see iniquity as sin, so we might read this, “God forgave the sin of my sin” but that’s not what David is talking about here. David is saying that when we see our sin like God see’s sin – that is true confession, and that is when God restores our broken fellowship to himself through forgiveness. God wants us to see the iniquity of it – that’s confession.

When we say, “God, I did wrong, and I’m going to do it again tomorrow, but forgive me for today” that is false confession. We don’t see our actions as iniquity so we don’t turn from them we embrace them. Agree with God and you sin will break your heart. See sin as God sees it and there will be true confession and real change.

Has someone ever hurt you and said, “If I’ve done something that hurt you I’m sorry?”

How did you like that? Or they said “You should not have been hurt by that, but I’m sorry.” Or how about the famous, “I’m sorry but you have done worse things to me!?”

Are any of those confessions? Of course not. We want to hear, “I’m sorry I (fill in the blank) because it was wrong and I can see why you are so hurt and I will never do that again, please forgive me and don’t hold it against me because I value our relationship too much to have this thing between us!”

That’s confession. That is easy to forgive someone who does that. That restores broken fellowship. That is what foundations truth looks like lived out in our daily life. Take advantage of God’s plan for restoration and confess your sins God’s way.



Confession is for the Bones

April 20, 2020

Psalms 32:1-5

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah. –

This week we are talking about confession. We need to understand that we will not be able to build a life upon the rock of Jesus Christ without the practice of confession. Again, Jesus said it necessary that you believe but if you want your life to count for something positive you will also have to put into practice these foundational truths. Last week we dealt with forgiveness and now the shoe is on the other foot and it is imperative that we own our sin.

David says “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven” and then he goes on to describe how, when he kept his sin quiet or hidden, there was an oppression from God that felt as though his bones were wasting away and his strength was gone. Can you live in that condition? Sure, but who wants to?

The word blessed in the Old Testament is a very interesting word. We tend to think of it in terms of what God might do for us… what he might give us? Better health, more money, nicer kids, better jobs, a parking place at the mall, these would be considered blessings. But the word actually means wholeness, complete wellness of being.

David did not say God quit giving him stuff, he says he lost his ability to enjoy stuff. Being blessed is not in the things God gives or doesn’t give, it is in our ability to enjoy life… when there is much or when there is little. It was David’s experience with guilt that cost him his “wellness” and made him miserable.

If you are in a college class and you get an F on a test you will feel horrible. But if the professor says, “that test will not count against your final grade” you immediately feel good about the test. Yes, you did poorly but it did not count. And the result, if you are smart, will be to study even harder for the next test and try to do better. You agreed with the test result and you acknowledged it and you took responsibility for it, but it will not go against your record.

As believers we understand that our sins are covered, and they will not go against us. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Then why confess? Doesn’t God already know what we have done? Yes, but it is a matter of fellowship. In agreeing with God about our sin we restore the close fellowship with him, remove the guilt and open the blessing to our lives bringing wholeness and wellbeing and peace with God.

There is no better feeling than to know that your sins have been forgiven and your conscience is clear before God and you have His blessing upon your life. That is a life you can enjoy.

 

 



Setting People Free

April 17, 2020

Matthew 18:32–35

32 Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35 This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

Becoming an unforgiving person is a very serious issue. Look at the way this parable ends and by the way, interpreting parables isn’t the easiest thing in the world. But at the very end, we see Jesus tells us about the king. The king comes and says, “Since you are not grateful for what I’ve done, since you have not forgiven your fellow servant, into prison with you.” Notice what it says. “… to be tortured …”

What is that all about?  I mean, as we’re going to see, the king is a good guy, and he is a good model for us. Why in the world does Jesus Christ create a parable in which, at the very end, he is torturing the man? Well, you have to understand you can’t look at every single character in here as a real person. They’re teaching illustrations, but I think this is what Jesus is saying to us. “If you do not forgive, if you do not learn how to do it, if you do not learn how to keep anger when you’re mistreated from passing into you, acting and affecting you below the surface (in a sense, under your own radar), passing on into you, if you don’t learn how to stop that, it’s going to be torment. There’s going to be misery. You’ll be like in prison. You won’t be living a free life. You won’t be possessing your souls in patience.”

Years ago I met a father who’s kids attended one of our vacation Bible schools. After it was over his kids were excited to come to church but the father refused. Someone had offered to pick them up but he still refused. When I asked him why, he said that he was forced to go to church by his father and as a kid he hated it. So he was not going to do to his own kids what is father did to him. Even though his father was no longer alive this man was still being controlled by his unforgiveness towards his father. By not allowing his kids to go to church, which they loved by the way, he was still punishing his father. He was being controlled by something he had never forgiven and he was in prison.

This kind of thing happens all too often. The people we don’t forgive eventually control us… even after they are gone. And feeling anger, 20 years after being mistreated is to be tortured. Freedom comes from forgiving and letting the person go. If you try to make them pay… you have just been thrown into prison to be tortured. Jesus said this is how the Father will allow you to be treated if you don’t forgive. And notice who tortures the unforgiving servant? The king doesn’t do the torturing, the jailers are the ones who torture the servant. The ones we don’t forgive become our jailers.

I sat down one day and made a list of my jailers. The people who had treated me wrong, the ones who owed me something, the people who hurt me, broke my heart, did me wrong… I couldn’t remember all of them but there were some who still stood out on the list. I examined my pain and relished in it one last time and then I forgave them. I didn’t tell them I forgave them, I just forgave them and wrote off the debt and set them free.

Jesus said this is the only way to be free from the jailers who will torture you, enslave you, make you bitter and spiteful. Have compassion on them, forgive them and set them and you free.




Daily Devotions 2020