He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. ~Proverbs 28:13 NKJV
After the Watergate scandal subsided in 1974, many political pundits observed that President Richard Nixon’s resignation was inevitable – not because of the crimes other people committed, but because Nixon had participated in a cover-up designed to prevent anyone from learning the truth about the Watergate break-in.
“The cover-up is always worse than the crime” became conventional wisdom. Sort of like “He who covers his sins will not prosper,” don’t you think?
Israel’s King David once thought he could hide his own despicable actions. 2 Samuel 11 tells the story of how David became entangled in an illicit affair with Bathsheba. To cover up his involvement with a married woman, David had her husband murdered.
But God knew what had happened, and sent the prophet Nathan to confront the king. Nathan told David a story about a wealthy man who had committed a great injustice. The king became angry, declaring that the one who had done such a thing deserved to die. Nathan then extended a finger in David’s direction and declared in 2 Samuel 12:7, “You are that man.”
In 2 Samuel 12:13, David confessed his disobedience, and received immediate assurance that his sin would be forgiven:
Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die.”
There were other consequences for King David, though. In the following verses, Nathan prophesies about many bad things that would happen to David and his family as a result of his selfishness, lust, greed, and an act of murder.
Everyone has sin in their lives. In fact, scripture says people who deny this are liars. God knows everything you have ever done, said, or thought. There’s no use trying to cover it up.
As you study the living, active word of God today, remember to admit to God where you have missed the mark. You, too, can experience the mercy spoken of by the apostle John in 1 John 1:9:
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.