Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from wilful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19 v.12-14
Job was a man who cared deeply for his children and was concerned to bring them up in the nurture and fear of the LORD. We are told in the introduction to the book that bears his name that
Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom. Job 1.5
He was thus a man like David, deeply concerned to walk in God’s ways and to teach his family the same way.
It may at first sound rather a depressing question but it is still one that we each need to ask – ‘Where is there sin in my life?’ It is a necessary individual question and traditionally, and rightly I believe, in many denominations, is part of corporate worship and particularly so in celebrating the Lord’s Supper as we confess together. For although we are ‘in Christ’ we are not yet freed from sinning (which is something we look forward to in the new heaven and the new earth.)
Here in Psalm 19, having seen the glory of God in the heavens and having written of his love for God’s law, David is very aware that self-examination was prone to error for we all think of ourselves better than we are. ‘Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.” Further he was aware that there were sins – wilful sins – that had the potential to rule his life and although there is a specific Psalm, 51, which deals with his adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of Uriah in a fruitless attempt to cover it up, I sense that he has this in mind here. His sin with Bathsheba had terrible consequences for him and his family going forward and so the closing verses of this psalm are a prayer from the heart.
May we each learn from these men of God from of old and ask God, daily, to so work in us that we are pleasing in his sight. Yes we are pleasing in his sight because as believers we are cleansed by the blood of Christ but we need constantly to seek his forgiveness for our failures and his help in keeping us from sin.