There is a wonderful promise found in Proverbs 28:13. “The one who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy.” Speaking from experience, the issue in this verse is not whether or not we will sin. It is a foregone conclusion that we will stray from God’s commands each day. The issue addressed in this verse is whether or not we will acknowledge our shortcomings, confess them and turn from them.

But isn’t it within human nature to try and conceal our sins? Rather than face the immediate consequences of our failures, we would rather deny our shortcomings and hope that we won’t be found out. Yet, God’s Word is clear when it says in Numbers 32:23 – “…you may be sure that your sin will find you out.”

One such illustration is found in 2 Samuel 11-12. In chapter 11, we read about how King David lazily stayed home from battle while his army was out fighting. One evening, he went for a walk on the roof of his palace and saw a woman taking a bath. Instead of immediately turning away, he gawked and lusted.

Sin is never satisfied. It is like a cancer that is not content unless it grows and spreads. As he lusted, his heart began to race. His sexual engine began to throttle up. Simultaneously, his logic and his desire for holiness was shut down. His racing passions were begging to find expression and so he abused his power and sent for the woman.

That evening, he took what didn’t belong to him. He grossly abused his position as a leader and violated a woman that was not his to claim. And when he was done with her, with only regard for his own personal passions and desires, he sent her back to her home.

But sin is like a cancer. It grows. It spreads. When he found out that Bathsheba was pregnant with his baby, he realized that he left some tracks that needed to be covered. He called for her husband, Uriah, who was loyally fighting for David on the battlefield. He encouraged Uriah to spend some “time” with his wife. If that happened, David surmised, Uriah would think that the baby was his. The only ones who would know the truth were David … and Bathsheba who may have been plagued with guilt with the secret she withheld from her husband.

But sin is like a cancer. It grows. It spreads. Uriah refused to go home and enjoy his wife. He knew that he had left his comrades on the battle field who did not have such a privilege. It wouldn’t be fair for him to enjoy what his men could not. So David sent Uriah back to the battlefield.

But David did something unimaginable. He sent Uriah with an unopened note that guaranteed his death. David orchestrated a plan in which Uriah would be killed on the battlefield. The plan succeeded and an innocent man died because he did not participate in the cover-up of David’s sin. 

David continued to obstinately sit on the sin and refused to make it right. He had lusted, committed adultery with Bathsheba, tried to cover it up, planned and carried out Uriah’s death … and still he refused to acknowledge it.

All the while, 2 Samuel 11:27 says, “…the Lord considered what David had done to be evil.” (That may not sound too bad. Yet Joshua 7 recounts a story of how God’s anger burned against the whole nation of Israel because of one man’s sin.) We can only imagine who was being hurt by David’s sin and his subsequent refusal to acknowledge, confess and forsake it and then take the consequences.

In 2 Samuel 12, God sent a man to David. David was living a lie and so God moved to expose it. Listen to 2 Samuel 12:1-9:

“So the Lord sent Nathan to David. When he arrived, he said to him: ‘There were two men in a certain city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one small ewe lamb that he had bought. It lived and grew up with him and his children. It shared his meager food and drank from his cup; it slept in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man could not bring himself to take one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for his guest.’ David was infuriated with the man and said to Nathan: ‘As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! Because he has done this thing and shown no pity, he must pay four lambs for that lamb.’ Nathan replied to David, ‘You are the man! This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you and your master’s wives into your arms, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah, and if that was not enough, I would have given you even more. Why then have you despised the command of the Lord by doing what I consider evil? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife as your own wife – you murdered him with the Ammonite’s sword.’”

If you continue to read the chapter, you realize that because of David’s sin and refusal to acknowledge it, God was going to bring dire consequences into David’s life. What David had dreaded came upon him anyway. He learned firsthand the principle found in Numbers 32:23 – “…you may be sure that your sin will find you out.”

We all fail. While some offenses are greater than others, we all sin. God’s message is clear. He will not bless us when we fail to acknowledge our sin and refuse to repent. In fact, He will come after us until we make it right (Hebrews 12:5-6).

One final thought: Christians are quite capable of concealing sin – for a period of time. Yet, if we live a lie and take measures to conceal our sin and never acknowledge it, we may be evidencing fruit that testifies to the fact that we were never a Christ-follower after all. In that case, the Lord would say on the day of judgment: “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” An unimaginably horrific thought!

The following verse is pretty abrasive but it was no less abrasive when Jesus spoke it. John 8:44 “You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of liars.”

David experienced consequences for his sin but he also enjoyed renewed fellowship with the Lord as he was moved to acknowledge and confess his sins. That renewed fellowship is yours to enjoy. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

What is your response?