Psalm 19:12-13 - Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.
Hidden faults. We all have them, the sins we try to hide, the sins we are afraid to admit to anyone, even to God. But our hidden faults are also those sins of which we are not aware. The apostle James writes, "Whoever keeps the whole Law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it" (James 2:10). We have failed in far more than one point; we are declared guilty of all of God's Law! There are so many things we ought to do in obedience to God that we have not done and there are those sins—selfish or spiteful thoughts, hurtful words, and actions—by which we daily transgress His just Laws. How can we discern every error?
God discerns those errors. He knows them all. We cannot hide. As the writer to the Hebrews reminds us, "No creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account" (Hebrews 4:13). With the psalmist we cry out, "Declare me innocent from hidden faults." That is what God has done. He has declared us innocent for the sake of His Son. Jesus took all of our sins, the sins of the whole world, sins known and unknown, onto Himself. He suffered the penalty of death for those sins and rose in victory on the first Easter morning. As the apostle Paul writes, Christ, having been raised from the dead, "will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died He died to sin, once for all" (Romans 6:9b-10a). Through faith in Jesus, we are declared innocent of hidden faults, innocent in the sight of God of every sin!
We repent of our sins, the sins we know and the sins of which we are unaware, and God declares us innocent for the sake of Jesus. Having experienced God's mercy and forgiveness, the psalmist turns his attention back to life lived in service to God. His prayer, "Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me," is echoed by the apostle: "You also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions" (Romans 6:11-12).
Buried and raised with Christ in Baptism, we are clothed in His righteousness. We seek to follow Jesus and live according to His Word, to honor and glorify Him with our thoughts, words, and actions. When we stumble and fail—and we will—we repent of our sins and rejoice in the forgiveness Jesus won for us on the cross. With faith nourished through Jesus' Holy Supper and strengthened in the hearing and study of God's Word, we seek to turn from sin and live for God.
THE PRAYER: Lord God, help me by Your Spirit to serve You in my thoughts, words, and actions. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. How has God declared us innocent from our hidden faults?
2. How does failing at one point in the Law make us guilty of all of it? Is there something we can do to make that situation right?
3. What might a presumptuous sin be?
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