Friday, March 04, 2016

The burden of concealment

Achan hides his loot - Artist Unknown

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 32:1-11

TO CHEW ON: "When I kept silent my bones grew old through my groaning all day long." Psalm 32:3

David writes this psalm from a place of great relief. He has covered a sin, then come clean and confessed it.  He contrasts the way it feels to be holding his secret with the relief of having confessed. Let's take a look at the effects of covering or concealing sin on David - Psalm 32:3,4:

"When I kept silent…
  • "…my bones grew old…" - He felt a sense of fragility and weakness.
  • "…through my groaning all day long." - He experienced day-long agony of spirit.
  • "For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;" - God's presence felt heavy, not comforting.
  • "My vitality was turned into the drought of summer" - he felt useless and unproductive, like a plant shrivels and grows weak without water.

A brief overview of others who practiced concealment in the Bible show more side effects of covering sin:
  • Adam and Eve attempted to hide from God (Genesis 3:8), though it was and is impossible (Psalm 139:11; Luke 12:2; Revelation 6:16).
  • Achan and Gehazi had to sneak around and hide their stolen treasures - Joshua 7:21; 2 Kings 5:24.
  • Isaiah talks about permanent deep changes to the person who lives a life of concealment. He calls it becoming "warped" - Isaiah 47:10.

I don't know if you have ever refused to confess a known sin, but I have.  I can witness to how accurate David is in describing what it feels like.

Contrast those feelings with how everything changes for him following his confession:
He feels:

  • a desire to be with God again - Psalm 32:6.
  • security in God's presence -  Psalm 32:7.
  • joy, expressed in singing and shouting - Psalm 32;7, 11.
  • direction and purpose - Psalm 32:8.
  • gratitude for God's mercy - Psalm 32:10.

If you are holding onto a secret sin thinking you can live like this indefinitely, stop kidding yourself. Expose your secret. Make it right with God and any person involved. Then watch the vitality and joy flow back into your relationship with God and others.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for David's vivid and accurate description of concealment. Help me to live my life clear and transparent before you and others. Amen.

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The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.

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