Summary: Both God and men cover sin. The choice is not whether to deal with sins or not, but to deal with them either wisely or foolishly. Let's learn what action we are taking to deal with our sin along with its corresponding result.
PROVERBS 28: 13
SINS COVERED VERSES SINS CONFESSED
"He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them finds mercy."
This verse is distinctly divided. Two different types of persons are introduced. Two opposite courses of actions are taken. Two correspondingly opposite results occur. Sin is the common object of concern. What is done with sin is the action taken. What occurs from each action taken are the results. One type of person covers his sins and does not prosper. The other confesses and forsakes his sin and finds mercy.
Both God and men cover sin. God does so by shed blood and glorious grace (Ps. 85:2). Man does so by deceit and hypocrisy. The sinners contrasted here are charged with the same guilt. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). Yet different men choose different ways to deal with the aggravation of their conscience. The choice is not whether to deal with sins or not, but to deal with them either wisely or foolishly, to deal with them either righteously or wickedly. Let's learn what action we are taking to deal with our sin along with its corresponding result (CIM).
I. THE FOOLISH COVERING OF SINS, 13a.
In the first part of verse 13 we find the world's way of dealing with sin along with the result such action brings. "He who conceals his sins does not prosper."
A proud sinner naturally wishes to be thought better than he is. Since man's conscience bears witness that his actions are evil, he seeks to cover or hide his sin. This is done in various ways.
Sometimes sin is renamed in an attempt to cover it. Adultery is called an affair. Homosexuality is called an alternative life-style. Car thief is now lifting a car. Slander is called gossip or stating your mind.
Man endeavors to cover sin by denying it. A lie is a cover which men put over their sins to conceal them. They deny that what they have done is sin. Like Cain, Rachel, Joseph's brothers, Peter, Ananias and Sapphira they endeavored to hide their sin by denying it with a lie.
They covered them by ignoring them. They suspect that if they thought about them or learned more about them that such knowledge would not be pleasant and therefore force them out of their mind. They refuse to listen to the Word because their sin might be pointed out. But to ignore sin's existence does not change its nature or remove its effects.
They covered their sin by diminishing it. They call it a little white lie. What they did wasn't so bad compared to what's done by others. To discount your sin in your eyes or the eyes of others though does not diminish it in God's eyes.
They use excuses to cover their sin. Their mistakes were due to the influence of others, the power of circumstances, their poor up bringing, or their environment. Extenuating circumstances are often used to cover our sin.
They attempt to cover them by forgetting their sins. They endeavor to sweep them from memory by frivolity and mockery, by sensuality, worldliness, or intoxication. No effort is spared to hide the ugly side of sin and dress up its more pleasurable parts. The imaginations of man's evil heart is constantly used like a paint to cover over sin's decay and rot.
Thus the knowledge, realization, or admittance of sin rendered still more difficult by our effort to conceal it. Yet we hides it only from our self & gullible men. Our attempt to hide our sin does nothing to remove them but only furthers sin's injury by allowing its poisoning to continue seeping into us. Beware of the lie that nothing exists which cannot be seen. Moral evil may seem invisible or hidden but it exists and its effects are great.
God's Word states that despite man's effort to cover his sin, "he shall not proper." God's natural, moral and spiritual laws cannot be so evaded. He cannot be so mocked (Gal. 6:7). Although sin in its spiritual nature cannot be seen by human eyes and weighed by human scales, it is real and so are its effects. Sin covered over begins to rotten and hollow out in the human soul and, if tested by God in this life, the fair outward appearance will collapse and its destruction will be revealed. Though the trees may seem tall and mighty if a strong enough wind blows what is inside may be revealed. Though the defective steel may span the river if tested by sufficient weight the potential catastrophe is revealed.
The voice of God summoned Adam from his hiding place to receive his sentence (Gen. 3:9). Abel's hidden blood cried from the ground in Genesis 5:10-12. Conscience lashed out and stole the joy of life from Joseph's brothers (42:4). Saul's covering his sin cost him his kingdom (1 Sam 15:21-23). The leprosy of Naaman clung to Gahazi and his seed forever (2 Kings 5:27). The deeds done in the deepest darkness are open and clear to an All-seeing God and made ready to be proclaimed from house tops before the world (Lk. 12:2,3).