13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: But whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
First of all, we are warned of the danger of “covering” our sins – “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper”. But how does one cover or conceal his sins? One may cover his sins by putting the blame on another, like Adam who pointed his finger at Eve, or Eve who pointed her finger at the serpent (Genesis 3:12-13; cf. Job 31:33), or Saul who blamed the people (1 Samuel 15:24). Some hide their sins by pleading ignorance and dissociating themselves from any responsibility, as Cain did after killing his brother Abel (Genesis 4:8-10). There are those who impersonate someone else when committing a crime and then run away from the scene quickly, like Jacob who fraudulently “snatched” his brother’s blessings from his blind father (Genesis 27). There are yet others who use religious involvement and zeal to cover their sins, like King Saul who claimed it was for sacrifice that he brought back the Amalekites’ cattle, which God had commanded to destroy (1 Samuel 15:13-23; cf. Matthew 23:25-28). There are also those who deny their sins outright with an impudent face (cf. Jeremiah 2:22-23). More stories of man’s inclination to cover his sin are found in the Bible (e.g. Rachel, Joseph’s brothers, Peter, Ananias and Sapphira).
Nonetheless, nothing is hidden from the view of God. He who refuses to acknowledge his sin before God, betrays his foolish thinking that God has not seen it. There is no wisdom in hiding one’s sin. He is also warned that he “shall not prosper”. Let not the one who conceals his sin think that he will progress. In Psalm 32:3-4, David spoke of the misery he experienced while he covered his sins. “When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.” What a dangerous thing it is to cover our sins!
Secondly, we are told of the blessing of those who would confess their sins to God in repentance. “But whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” One’s sin must be quickly confessed as an offence committed against God (cf. Psalm 51:4), and be fully forsaken. Then will one be forgiven. Divine love and mercy are greater than all our sins. Confession of sin leads the contrite sinner to the refreshing and renewing mercies of God. Turning away from sin with repentance will direct a man to the wonderful experiences of God’s never-failing compassions.