Wednesday, June 26, 2002
There are few things more scary than the dormitory room of a college man. Let's just say that the average college guy does not put a high priority on order or cleanliness in his personal world. Some wife is listening and saying, "It's not just college guys, buddy!" Well, fine. I'm talking about college guys. One year in college, our son was in a suite where four guys shared two rooms and one bathroom. When I commented on the growing need for the bathroom floor to get washed, he told me about their neighbors' room. Those four men had somehow managed to go through the entire school year without once cleaning their bathroom floor. Of course, it got so gross that they didn't want to walk on it anymore. There were strange new organisms growing there. Oh, did they clean it then? Oh no, no - they put boards down on the floor to cover the mess!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Covering, Not Cleaning."
We think it's gross that people would cover a mess like that rather than cleaning it up. Maybe we know a little about how God feels when we do the very same thing. When we're doing something wrong, we'd far rather cover it up than clean it up. But the mess and the stench just keep growing.
David was familiar with our tendency to cover up our sin - and with the painful consequences of doing it. It may be that his experience, recorded in our word for today from the Word of God, sounds all too familiar for someone who's listening right now. In Psalm 32, beginning with verse 1, David says: "Blessed is the man whose transgressions are forgiven … Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit there is no deceit."
"When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord' - and You forgave the guilt of my sin."
David tried to avoid dealing with his sin for as long as he could. Like you are, perhaps. And he paid the price for it. As you may be. God's blessing is being withheld, you're hurting for reasons you can't pinpoint, it's like there's this "heavy hand" on you, and things aren't working. The sin you've been refusing to confess and repent of is costing you more and more whether you know it or not.
We have lots of "boards" we use to cover up things in our life that are gross to God. We rationalize what we're doing, we blame other people for our being this way (we're always very ready to face someone else's sin), we excuse, we justify, we escape. But listen to God's inescapable warning in Numbers 32:23 - "You may be sure that your sin will find you out." There is no such thing as getting away from your sin, or getting away with your sin.
This very day God is saying to you, "Quit trying to cover what both you and I know you're doing. The longer you wait to clean it up, the harder it's going to be to clean." Today - before the damage and the cost get worse - confess what you've been covering up. Bring it out in the open. Bring it to the cross of Jesus where it was paid for with the precious blood of the Son of God.
You can go to sleep tonight with a feeling you haven't had in a long, long time. You can finally be clean.