He Who Conceals His Sins Does Not Prosper
Monday, 20 October 2008 21:50 Kent E. Heaton, Sr.
Man has the knowledge to discern between right and wrong. In the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve rebelled against the law of God by eating the forbidden fruit, they knew they had sinned. “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8). Man has been trying to hide his sin from God since the beginning.
The wise man exposes the failure of man to hide anything from God. Many have tried to hide their sins to no avail. Cain killed his brother Abel and acted as if nothing had happened (Genesis 4). When God instructed Saul to destroy the Amalekites, Saul decided to save the best of the sheep and oxen and to spare the life of king Agag. Samuel, the prophet, confronted Saul about his disobedience and told him he had rebelled against the law of God. Because of his sin, God rejected Saul as king (1 Samuel 15:22). Job referred to Adam trying to hide from God in Job 31:33 and the futility of it. David sinned with Bathsheba by committing adultery and a child was conceived. To hide his sin, he had Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, murdered. However, David did not prosper. God sent Nathan to rebuke him and tell him the consequence—the child would die (2 Samuel 11-12). In the New Testament, Ananias and Sapphira dishonestly held back money from the apostles. They died for their sin.
Sin cannot be hidden from God. As Jonah sought to hide from God, men seek to hide their sins from the Almighty—to no avail. “You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your countenance” (Psalm 90:8). “For God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it is good, or whether it is evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
The answer to sin is given in our text. Sin must be recognized and removed from our lives. Mercy will only be given to those who do not seek to hide their sins from God. To prosper in life and in our relationship with God, we must fully recognize our need to implore mercy in the face of a loving but just God. Sin cannot be ignored or blamed on others. Men seek to hide sin by letting time go by so others will forget. God does not forget sin and requires sin to be confessed and forsaken. Mercy will only be given to those who acknowledge it, as David in Psalm 51 – “For I acknowledge my transgression, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight” (Psalm 51:3-4).
Sin must be forsaken. God does not accept our confession on the basis that we still engage in such activity and then gain mercy again and again—in the face of our rebellion. Forsaking the sin is to turn away from it and allow it to no longer be a part of your life. “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (James 4:8). “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
What a wonderful gift of mercy God gives to those who do not seek to hide their sin. The heart recognizes that confession is the removal of the blight of sin from the soul. Forsaking the sin will not allow its evil influence again to cause us to sin. Mercy is given as we find the true prosperity in serving God.