I acknowledge my sin to you, and my iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the LORD…
It is hard to look things in the face; yet we must do so; we must own our sins honestly.
I. To OUR OWN HEARTS — and then, down comes our pride. We thought ourselves tolerably good, and that we could pass muster as well as most; but beginning to look, we detect, here first, and then there, a blemish, an infirmity, a gross sin. It is best to be frank, and rather to make the most than the least of our faults. The iron-founder examines the huge mass of some iron girder, on which he has spent much labour; he sees one tiny crack, but passes it by, hoping, though with strong misgiving, that the real strength of the metal will not be affected; and ere long he hears that the bridge has fallen, and men have been killed by it, and that the disaster is traced to a flaw in the metal. He had better have faced the disappointment, and have had the piece re-cast, than have been responsible for the accident.
II. To OTHERS. When a man knows his own fault, he does not like others to know it: He would prefer to remain in their eyes the spotless man he once was in his own. It is a degrading thought that others should know that you have been guilty of a meanness, of intemperance, of passion, of untruthfulness; and yet by trying to conceal it from them, you may be adding deception to your former error. Not that we are bound to blaze abroad our faults; that might do more harm than good: but to cover them, or palliate them, so as to retain the good opinion of others, is fruitless and insincere. Bitter though it be to lose the good opinion of friends, still even that is better than disingenuousness.
III. To GOD. It is God whom we have offended: to God must our confession be made. With abject sorrow, and unfeigned shame that we should in any, the least, point have outraged the majesty, the purity, the honour of God; with body, soul, and spirit all bowed down; with reason silent, with no excuses, no special pleading, no attempt to set off against our faults any good things which we have done; but simply engrossed in our hatred of the evil thing we have done, and unreservedly acknowledging its wickedness.
IV. If you cannot quiet your conscience by secret confession to God, use THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION. Something human the man craves, some human voice to tell him to his face that he is forgiven, to assure him, and to dispel doubts.
(G. F. Prescott, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.