December 05, 2012

Covered Sin or Covered Sin?

The other morning in my quiet time I was reading Psalm 32 and something stuck out to me that I'd never caught before. Follow me here.

The very first verse says, Blessed is the one...whose sin is covered.

But in verse 3, David (King David, the author of this Psalm) describes the effect on him when he, as he describes it in verse 5, covered his sin.

Verses 3 and 4 describe it as his bones wasting away, continual groaning, dried up strength as in the heat of summer. Essentially, inner anguish and turmoil to the extent that it affected him physically.

So what does he mean? Is he contradicting himself? No, in verse 5 he describes the type of covering he referred to in verse 1, I acknowledged my sin to you and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord."

And the Lord's immediate response?

You forgave the iniquity of my sin (verse 5).

Which brings us back to verses 1 and 2 - Twice it calls the person blessed whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered, against whom the Lord counts no deceit, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

I think we've got all Sin/Deception Bases covered.

So it hit me as I was reading that we've got two options, every living, breathing one of us.

1. We can cover our sin through deceit and be miserable, or..

2. We can confess it to the Lord and He covers it and we're blessed.

Either way our sin is covered. One way causes internal anguish to the extent of affecting us physically. The other frees us from its debt and leaves us blessed. Clean, washed white, pure.

One way is definitely standing out to me as the better way.

Have you ever kept a secret, a bad one, that ate at you?

Pornography addiction? Throwing up your food in secret or starving yourself? Substance abuse? Affair? Cheating? Lying? Deception? An unwanted pregnancy ended in a sterile room? Someone else's dirty secret? A thousand other examples?

It eats at you. There's no true rest or peace. You're terrified of carrying it alone but you're more terrified of being found out.

I have to stop and say this - I hope you know by now that I say all of this with the utmost affection for you, Reader. Even as I write this, I pray for you, and I cast no stones.

But I'd like to suggest that Option 2 is life-alteringly better. 2nd Corinthians 5:21 says, He (God) made him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin that we might become the righteousness of God.

Scholars call it the Exchange Curse. (Harry Potter, I know.)

Jesus literally exchanged his righteousness for the curse of our sin. He doesn't cover it the way we do, in shame and hiding. He covers it with his very life, taking away its sting and condemnation, leaving us new, washed clean, covered no longer in shame and anguish, but in his righteousness.

Blessed. Blessed is the one whose sin is covered. But not by us. By Him.

I pray Option 2 stands out as the better option too. May you turn to Jesus today, the One who says, Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).

The kind of rest that deception and hiding robs us of. The kind that gives us sweet sleep.

That sounds pretty good to me. What about you?

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