"Secret Sins "
February 23, 2017
Psalm 90:8 - You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence.
As all of us sometimes do, Joseph Talbot made a mistake. In this case, Mr. Talbot had a bit too much to drink before he got behind the wheel of his car.
It was a mistake noted by a New York patrolman who arrested him.
After that, things got a bit strange. Mr. Talbot called the officer a not-so-nice name and said the officer was ruining his life. Then Mr. Talbot refused to be fingerprinted and he refused to be photographed. His reason? He didn't want his mug shot in the local paper, which he called a "rag."
Well, the newspaper in question, the Times of Wayne County has a circulation of about 12,000. They got hold of the story along with Mr. Talbot's picture and published them both. Well, the paper underestimated how much Mr. Talbot wanted people not to know what he had done wrong.
That's why, when the delivery trucks went out to the newsstands, Mr. Talbot followed and bought up every paper they put out. Yes, he bought up almost 1,000 papers at the going rate of $1.25.
Well, Mr. Talbot underestimated the power of the press. The publisher of the paper went out and replenished the papers in all of its outlets, and then the Associated Press got hold of the story and it went viral, including being used as the basis for this Daily Devotion.
And the sin Mr. Talbot wanted so desperately to keep secret, wasn't.
Of course, he may take comfort in the fact he is not alone. Reading through the Bible, he may find many others who tried to keep their sins secret from the Lord. Adam and Eve hid after they had eaten the forbidden fruit. Achan tried to hide the forbidden booty he stole from Jericho when it was destroyed. David tried, unsuccessfully, to keep his sins of adultery and murder hush-hush. Ananias and his wife Sapphira tried to keep their business dealings secret and lied to the Lord.
Yes, all these biblical personalities had a sin they tried to keep from other people and the Lord. They tried and they failed. They failed because along with being just and merciful, our Lord is also omniscient, that is, He knows everything. That is a truth Moses recognized when he wrote: "You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence."
John agreed with that idea, and under the Holy Spirit's direction, took it one step further when he wrote, "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 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).
So that the Lord might forgive our sins and save us from eternal punishment, Jesus was sent into this world. Jesus' entire life was dedicated to Him being the prophesied Savior, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Forgiveness -- that's the gift the Lord gladly bestows on every soul who acknowledges his sin and confesses them to the Lord, and that includes all our not-so-secret sins as well.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I regret and confess my sins to You. Now may I rejoice in the forgiveness which is given because of Your Son's sacrifice. In His Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries