Collect of the Week
Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us Your gifts of faith, hope, and love that we may receive the forgiveness You have promised and love what You have commanded; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up1 as by the heat of summer. Selah
5 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. Selah
6 Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him.
7 You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah
In the name of + Jesus.
Sins are bad enough, but secret sins will torment. Any sin can cause us to be in fear, or to live with guilt, or to carry shame with us. But secret sins will compound the problem, and force you to go it alone. Secret sins will encourage you either to keep up a good front—which only compounds your guilt and shame—or to hide in despair—which also does not provide relief. Just like cancer in any form of cancer should be taken seriously, but undetected (or ignored) cancer will most assuredly take a life, all sin is dangerous, but secret sin is especially harmful.
We see this in the Psalm of David above, when he writes, “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.” Most likely, David wrote this Psalm after being confronted with his “secret sins” by Nathan. It was in that famous exchange (2 Samual 11 & 12), in which David’s secret sin came out into the light to be dealt with. It was then that he could address it and confess it. And that’s exactly what he did: “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.”
It is true that secret sins are particularly dangerous. But secret sins end up just like any other sin when they are confessed. Secret sins show their weakness when brought out into the light and acknowledged as the sins they are, because then they are dealt with like any other old sins: they are forgiven, blotted out with the blood of Jesus, and chased by the empty tomb as far from you as the East is from the West.
And so, the secret sins no longer hide, but you do hide, as David hid. You hide in the shelter of Jesus’ Word of forgiveness just like David clung to the Word spoken to him through Nathan. Those sins, which had been secret, can no longer attack us. We have a stronger Word, a victorious Word, a Word from the one who defeated secret sins and public sins alike; we have the Word of Christ. And in that word, we are blessed, for our transgressions (secret or not) are all forgiven. In the name of + Jesus. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, grant me honesty to examine my life according to Your Ten Commandments. Show me my sin, to know and feel it in my heart and distain it. Most of all, grant forgiveness by Your gracious hand, and through the mouth of Your servants. Amen.