Psalm 19:12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.
13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
God directed the Psalmist to ask a very important question in verse 12. The context of this Psalm is to those who have trusted in the LORD for salvation and direction. It is true that lost people cannot understand their errors. They do not even want to understand their errors. The headlines report of the moral failure of people every day. They also speak of the increase in crime that is coming to just about every major city. The criminal element has an agenda and they intend to live that way. We have pointed out many times the corrupt nature of our political system in Canada. Politicians are quite comfortable with the way they operate. In fact the government is working to silence those who would dare to report the facts. The opposition parties are not rising up to defend free speech. It seems they all want to silence those who do not want to “drink the kool-aide”.
However, God is directing David, the king of Israel and a man of God to write these words. The word translated as “errors” means “moral mistakes”. It is another word that God chose to speak of sin. David committed adultery with another man’s wife and then he had that man murdered to try to cover up the sin. He did not deal with that sin until God sent Nathan the prophet to confront David regarding his sin. Psalm 51 gives us a picture of the repentant nature of David’s heart when he finally understood the depth of the sin he had committed. Up until he was confronted with it, he knew he had done wrong, but he did not understand the gravity of what he had done.
It is through God’s Word that we can understand what sin is and what the long term effects of sin are. We have been studying the book of Proverbs for some time now in our afternoon services. The book of Proverbs is referred to as the book of wisdom at times. God often used the word “wisdom” in that book. He wants to impart His wisdom to mankind. There are many pitfalls that we can avoid if we would just take heed to what God has given us in that book.
In Hebrews 11 God directed the writer to refer to Moses in verses 23-27. Moses chose to identify with the people of God rather than continue to be identified with Pharaoh’s house. He had been raised by godly parents for a few years. He chose to listen to them and to believe what they were teaching him. I can guarantee you that Moses’ parents would never have chosen to set him in front of a screen and put some Walt Disney movie on for him. He had the privilege of watching them cry out to God in prayer for mercy and for wisdom. He saw the reality of walking in the fear of the LORD as a young boy. He saw that his parents had something real and as he grew up, he chose to align himself with the true God rather than Pharaoh’s paganism. He realized that God’s truth was of much greater value than all the things he had access to in Pharaoh’s court.
God is gracious to man and has given him a moral compass in his conscience. However, God’s Word tells us that it is possible to sear the conscience so that the person does not pay much attention to that internal “voice” that God gives every person. In our text, we see that God has also given us an external standard that will speak to the heart of man. The Word of God is like the governor for the child of God. It shows us what is wrong, how to make it right and how to keep it right. The solution for those who are guilty of sin is not to avoid the truth. The truth does not change just because i choose to ignore it. God’s truth is always relevant. The wise person submits to God’s truth and is blessed in doing so.
Of course the Holy Spirit indwells the true child of God to help him to walk in accordance with God’s Word as well. As we mentioned, this is all applicable to the true child of God. Salvation is necessary to give the person the desire to follow God’s way.
David understood that he was quite capable of twisting sin to try to justify it. He asked God to cleanse him of secret faults. David’s sin with Bathsheba was a secret to the nation and to foreign nations until the child was born. God pointed out to David that the nations would know that something was wrong with the timing of the birth of that child. God took that child out of the way as a punishment to David and Bathsheba. David did not want to live with guilt in his life. He wanted to have an open and clean relationship with the LORD.
In verse 13 David further asked that God would keep him from “presumptuous sins”. The word translated as “presumptuous” means “pride or arrogance”. Pride is a sin that we all need to guard against. It is a sin that all have been guilty of. However, the true child of God cannot function properly when pride is present. Pride is different than Biblical convictions. In Job 19:25-27 we read:
Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
Job was not being proud in knowing that his Redeemer was alive and that he would see Him one day. Notice in verse 26 that he called his Redeemer “God”. Jesus Christ is God. It is not pride to know that you are saved and that you will go to heaven when you die. Some years back a man told me that I was proud because I believed that I was saved and had a home in heaven. He believed that a person can lose their salvation and that it was wrong to believe that you are saved for eternity. That man is not alone in that false belief.
Those who trust in God have every right to stand on the promises that He has made. Pride is trying to stand on my own foolish will and ways.
The Psalmist asked God to not allow presumptuous sins to have dominion over him. He needed to be free from all sin in order to be upright and innocent from the great transgression. Pride has a way of blinding the mind to the truth. It thus leads to further sins and they just keep piling up. David wanted a clean heart that was useable by God.
In verse 14 David asked God to guide him so that the words of his mouth and the meditation of his heart would be acceptable to the LORD. This will be the prayer of every true child of God.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
True Christians need to seek to build one another up. We do not need to be tearing one another down. It is quite easy and quite natural to try to tear another person down. We do that to try to make ourselves look better than the person we are trying to tear down. The reality is that we make ourselves look worse because we stoop to such evil tactics to try to gain the upper hand. Again, there is a difference between speaking the truth in love and using corrupt words.
David acknowledged that the LORD was his strength and his redeemer.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
It is through Christ that the child of God can speak words that are pleasing to God. Without Christ dwelling in your heart, you will not be able to guard your mouth. Corrupt words will come out. You may feel guilty about it for a time, but eventually it will seem quite normal. However, it is never acceptable to God. God’s children need to seek to glorify Him.
Remember, this Psalm began with the fact that the heavens declare the glory of God. God designed man to glorify Him as well. Saved people have the power and the desire to glorify God. They want to exalt Him and they want others to know Him. He is a holy God and His children are expected to be holy as well. David desired that for his life.
If you are truly saved today, make this your prayer and then by God’s grace act on the truth of these words every moment of every day.