When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me. Then I acknowledged my sin to you. Psalm 32:3,4,5 NASB
Jesus said, “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10
David had a secret and it was eating him alive. He had committed adultery with Bathsheba, gotten her pregnant, then tried to cover it up. But his cover-up plan failed so he had to have Bathsheba’s husband killed. Then he took her as his wife. But his sin was gnawing at his heart and would not let his conscience rest.
It is interesting that David omits how it was that he came to acknowledge his sin. It wasn’t by his own will, or a decision he made because he was wasting away. If you know the story, you know that it took a very brave prophet – Nathan – to confront him and show him the depth of his sin. Once he was convicted he confessed. That he does not include in these passages from Psalm 32.
Whether that is prideful self-image preservation, or simply not necessary to David’s psalm of repentance and forgiveness is not clear.That David, when confronted by Nathan, realized more deeply and profoundly his sin, confessed it and wrote the words of Psalm 32 and Psalm 51 is much more clear. We are blessed by these words.
What does it take to get you to repent of your sin? What opens your eyes to the depth of your guilt, and your need for God’s mercy, forgiveness, and healing grace? Sometimes a friend will help you see your wrong. Sometimes a word of Scripture will stop you in your tracks. Perhaps you are brought to an awareness of the pain you’ve caused others simply by reflecting on your life in personal reflection and self-examination.
Whatever it takes, however, do not delay to acknowledge your sin. If it’s crawling around in your conscience, God is calling you to himself. Admitting your sin is not a sign of weakness. Far from it; it’s a sign of the Holy Spirit’s work, and the gift of faith he offers. We all need that – whether it comes at the challenging confrontation of a personal Nathan, or in the quiet of the night by God’s Spirit refusing to let you sleep because you need to come clean and find mercy, grace, peace, forgiveness and healing for your soul. When you confess God forgives. Then comes the joy in heaven!