Concealing Our Sin

Reading the Word

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.(Proverbs 28:13, ESV)

Understanding and Applying the Word

What is the usual response to doing something wrong? We try to hide it. We believe by doing so we can deal with our sin and it will go away. This is not the case. While our first reaction is to hide our sin, doing so is the worst thing for us. The result of trying to hide it is reflected in the words of Psalm 32:1-4:

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 up as by the heat of summer. Selah

Rather than run from our sin or try to hide it, we need to own up to it and confess it. When we do so, we are told that we find mercy. God is a gracious God who forgives sinners. That is why he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. Jesus took the punishment that we as sinners deserve. When we confess our sins and trust in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, we are forgiven. Do not run from your sin. It will only harm you to do so. Instead, go to God, confess, and trust in Jesus Christ.


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Closing Your Ears to God

Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. I do not publish supplemental material on Sundays, but I do include a suggested Scripture reading. Please be sure to subscribe to this page to follow along every day. Thanks for reading!

Reading the Word

If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.(Proverbs 28:9, ESV)

Remember

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read his archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com .

Psalm 132:1–18 (ESV)
1 Remember, O LORD, in David’s favor, all the hardships he endured,
2 how he swore to the LORD and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
3 “I will not enter my house or get into my bed,
4 I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids,
5 until I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
6 Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah; we found it in the fields of Jaar.
7 “Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool!”
8 Arise, O LORD, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might.
9 Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your saints shout for joy.
10 For the sake of your servant David, do not turn away the face of your anointed one.
11 The LORD swore to David a sure oath from which he will not turn back: “One of the sons of your body I will set on your throne.
12 If your sons keep my covenant and my testimonies that I shall teach them, their sons also forever shall sit on your throne.”
13 For the LORD has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his dwelling place:
14 “This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
15 I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread.
16 Her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her saints will shout for joy.
17 There I will make a horn to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.
18 His enemies I will clothe with shame, but on him his crown will shine.”


David longed to build a temple for the Lord his God. But God told him He’d been living in a tent for so long, and didn’t mind waiting a bit longer for David’s son to build Him a house. David himself was a man of war with blood on his hands, so had disqualified himself.

David’s heart was in the right place. But sometimes, even if we have good ideas, God has a better one. David might not have been able to build the temple, but he did make extensive preparations to make his son’s job much easier.

God had promised David an eternal Kingdom that one of his descendants would reign over. In the new creation, the new Jerusalem will be the capital of the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of David. All who belong to Him will be blessed.

If we belong to Jesus we’re a kingdom of priests, clothed in His salvation. We’re made holy and joyful. The enemies of Christ will be clothed with shame, but He Himself is now crowned with glory and honour.

“Father God, we thank You for king David’s greater Son, in whom we have salvation. Thank You for the joy He brings. May we live for Him all our days and for eternity, in His name, amen.”


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Character Is Important

Reading the Word

Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.(Proverbs 28:6, ESV)

Understanding and Applying the Word

We live in a results-oriented society. We want specific outcomes. How we get those results is secondary. Or, more specifically, we want people in place who get results and we do not care what kind of people they are. Today’s proverb corrects this way of thinking. End results are not the most important thing. Character is more important. A poor man with integrity is better than a rich person whose ways are crooked. The rich man got the results (wealth), but the poor man had integrity (character).

When the people of Israel requested that Saul be their king, God told Samuel to do what the people requested, but not to be impressed with Saul as the people were “because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). God is concerned more with the character of a person than their outward appearance, including the external results they might produce. We should seek to be people of integrity and to value the same in others.


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Why Are the Wicked Paranoid?

Reading the Word

The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.(Proverbs 28:1, ESV)

Understanding and Applying the Word

The wicked person flees when no one pursues. The reason that the wicked person always feels anxious and in danger is because his actions have created many enemies and a guilty conscience. The result is paranoia. By contrast, the righteous person has no such fear and lives as boldly as a lion.

We must always be aware that our words and actions have consequences. We have the potential to create many enemies and cause ourselves much anxiety. We also have the opportunity to make friends and allies and create security for ourselves. The path of righteousness is also the path of wisdom.


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Never Satisfied

Reading the Word

Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man.(Proverbs 27:20, ESV)

Understanding and Applying the Word

Sheol and Abaddon are words used to speak of death and the grave in the Hebrew Old Testament. Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied as they continue to consume more and more. So too are the eyes of mankind. We never have enough. No matter what we have, we always want more.

Have you ever stopped to think about why it is that we want more? Have you ever asked yourself how much it would take to be enough? Most of us have far more than we really need. We often run out of places to keep all of our things, so we either create more storage space or we end up getting rid of things that we once thought we could not live without. The wise person has learned that life is not about accumulating things, but is about finding contentment in God alone because he is the only one who truly satisfies.


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Iron Sharpens Iron

Reading the Word

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.(Proverbs 27:17, ESV)

Understanding and Applying the Word

We are a work in progress. None of us has reached the point where we have attained all wisdom and learning that there is. In fact, we are all far from that. The wise know this and continue to learn and grow throughout life. The wise also know that we do not learn and grow as well in isolation. We need others in our lives. We need others to teach us, to help us see those places where we are lacking, to confront us, and to encourage us. Just as iron sharpens iron, we need one another so that we too can be sharpened.

God did not intend for his people to live and grow in isolation, this is why he gave us the Church. The Church is where the people of God come together in community for mutual benefit as we learn and grow together. We must never neglect belonging to the community of Christ. It is there that we are sharpened and grow to maturity.


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Choose Your Relationships Wisely

Reading the Word

Proverbs 27:15–16 (ESV)
15 A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike;
16 to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in one’s right hand.

Understanding and Applying the Word

The Book of Proverbs speaks of life with a quarrelsome wife in multiple places (cf. Proverbs 21:9, 19; 25:24). Here, being married to such a wife is compared to the continual dripping on a rainy day. Just like the constant drip wears on a person over time, so does the quarrelsome wife. To make matters worse, to try to restrain such a person is like trying to restrain the wind or grasp oil in the hand. It cannot be done.

While this passage focuses on the quarrelsome wife, we must remember the same holds true concerning the quarrelsome husband. The context of the Book of Proverbs is teaching being passed down to a son from a father. This does not make the wisdom found in this book any less applicable for daughters. The idea is that those who are wise choose their relationships carefully because they have a great impact on life. Be careful who you marry. Consider carefully the type of person the other person is before tying the knot because you will get to spend the rest of your life with them.


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A Blessing or a Curse?

Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. I do not publish supplemental material on Sundays, but I do include a suggested Scripture reading. Please be sure to subscribe to this page to follow along every day. Thanks for reading!

Reading the Word

Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing.(Proverbs 27:14, ESV)

Knowledge

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read his archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com .

Psalm 131:1–3 (ESV)
1 O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.
2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3 O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore.


It’s human nature to want to know all the answers, and to understand everything. But it’s also because we are mortal, finite beings that we don’t know all the answers. We don’t understand everything.

It requires humility to acknowledge that we don’t know everything. It’s good for us to “let go and let God” be God and recognise ourselves for who we are. We might like to think we are omniscient, or at least that Google is, but that quality is reserved for God alone. Even Google isn’t fool proof.

The alternative to seeking to be a “know-it-all” is to calm and quiet our souls. We might not know all the answers, but God does, and He cares for us. We can rest in His love like a small child with their mother.

Who or what is our hope? That we know everything? Or that we know our loving heavenly Father who knows everything? It’s liberating to know God and to know that we don’t need to know all the answers.

“Heavenly Father, thank You for knowing all things, and that we don’t need to. May we hope in You, both now and forevermore, amen.”