Plea for Grace

Reflections from Psalm 19 (part 4)

Posted on: March 17, 2020

[Psa 19:12-14 CSB] 12 Who perceives his unintentional sins? Cleanse me from my hidden faults. 13 Moreover, keep your servant from willful sins; do not let them rule me. Then I will be blameless and cleansed from blatant rebellion. 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, LORD, my rock and my Redeemer. 

God is ever-present, never-changing, all-powerful, all-knowing, sovereign. He has revealed himself and his ways, not only in the magnificence of creation, but also in his Word, which is sufficient and true.

How does the psalmist apply these truths? He looks at his actions, and at his motives. First, the unintentional sins (ESV who can discern his errors) —  these “hidden faults” can be sins that we cover up so well that no one knows about them; they can also be blind spots that we are so good at justifying or excusing that we don’t even consider them sin anymore.

But the psalmist goes even deeper in this “soul cleaning.” Keep me back from willful (ESV presumptuous) sins; don’t let them rule (or have dominion over) me. Willful and presumptuous are polite words for deadly attitudes. It can be the “I am going to do what I want to do, and I don’t care if you think it’s wrong because it makes me feel good.” Presumption can also be “hey, I’ve got this temptation under control; I don’t need to ‘flee’ this time; I got this thing beat!” Pride and self-righteousness are tyrants. They come in with soft, smooth words, but end up as deadly and despicable rulers. They lead to all kinds of blame and blatant rebellion . . .

And then the psalmist’s cry out to God — and mine, too — take my heart attitudes, the places no one sees, as well as the words I say ([Luk 6:45 CSB] 45 “A good person produces good out of the good stored up in his heart. An evil person produces evil out of the evil stored up in his heart, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.) and bring them under your sovereign rule. Show me my blind spots. Expose my justifications and excuses. Cleanse from my rebellion against your law.  God, you are my Redeemer. You are my unchanging Rock. You are God.

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