Ever since Adam and Eve first disobeyed God, the tendency to cover our sin has been a part of our sinful human nature (see Genesis 3:7–8). We don’t have to be trained how to hide or pretend—it comes naturally. Even after we are redeemed in Christ and the Holy Spirit takes up residence within us, we often battle the urge to deceive. But God cannot bless or revive a heart that refuses to acknowledge the truth.
King David learned this lesson the hard way.
Though handpicked by God to be a leader, David rejected God’s law and committed the heinous sin of adultery (see 2 Samuel 11). As damaging as that was, however, he could have spared his household and his kingdom many months of anguish had he simply been honest about his failure. Instead, he chose to hide, cover up, and deny his wrongdoing.
- He lied to Bathsheba, the woman with whom he had committed adultery.
- He lied to her husband, Uriah.
- He lived a lie before his people.
- He lied to himself by acting as if what he’d done really wasn’t all that bad, that he could get away with it, and that there would be no major consequence to suffer.
- Above all, David lied to God by attempting to cover his sin and refusing to acknowledge and confess it.
Psalm 32 is David’s firsthand account of the process he went through to discover the profound joy of experiencing God’s mercy and forgiveness.
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said,“I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.
For nearly a year David lived with God’s convicting Spirit pressing down on his soul. Being silent about his wrongdoing—refusing to confess his sin—only deepened David’s anguish. He deteriorated physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
If it can happen to David, it can happen to us. We are as vulnerable to sin’s entrapment as he was and just as apt to try to conceal our failure. Refusing to be honest will reap the same rewards for us as it did for David. But here is the wonderful truth: We have another choice!
As we read the opening verses of Psalm 32, we can almost hear the joy and relief returning to David’s spirit. When he finally let go of his pride, humbled himself, and got honest with God and others about his sin, heaven-sent relief poured over him. The weight of his iniquity was lifted, and his sin was carried away.
That can be your experience, too. As this passage indicates, God is willing to “cover” (with the blood of Christ) every sin that we are willing to “uncover” before Him. If David could experience the freedom and joy of a restored relationship with God after committing such great sin, you can know that blessedness, too!
Simply begin with the matter at hand—whatever sin God may be convicting you of, whether “large” or “small.” Remember, no sin is so large that God cannot forgive it; and no sin is so small that you can afford to keep it hidden.
Do you need to pause right now and be honest with God about some sin or failure in your life? How blessed is the person in whose spirit there is no deceit!