THERE is an ever-increasing need among the saints of God for confession. While we are eager (and rightly so) to learn and enter into the deep things of God, there is a terrible danger of neglecting to search the heart and try the conscience in the holy presence of Him Who is of too pure eyes to behold iniquity. And I think that in a great measure, this springs from the scant store we set by the unspeakable privilege of communion with God. For this can only be enjoyed in proportion as we confess and forsake everything in our walk and ways which cannot be tried by the standard of the Word of God.
Thus we find David rejoicing in His restored communion. He had sinned grievously; only a thrice-holy God can measure the iniquity of which he was guilty, and yet we find him rejoicing thus in restored communion. He gives us the secret in verse 5: "I acknowledged my sin unto Thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid." There is, alas! much of what a dear saint of God (now in His presence) used to call, "an unholy trafficking with unfelt truths," and this is one of those truths. How glibly do we speak of confession being necessary to communion, and yet how little we know of it either as individuals or as assemblies. And yet so it is. There is no such thing as the soul knowing real communion with God apart from the confession of anything and everything that dishonours Him.
And how formal is the confession apt to be. It is comparatively easy to say that we have sinned without realizing what it means. That a soul that has known Christ, and has walked in His company should sin, is a terrible thing, and still more, that he should treat it as a light matter. The reason that our confession is so shallow, is because we do not see sin as God sees it. David saw it thus, in a great measure at least; and the result was that, pending his confession, his "bones waxed old through (his) roaring all the day long." He felt the hand of Jehovah heavy upon him. Oh, to be more in the presence of God about this all-important matter.
After he has confessed and received forgiveness, he tells us of his hiding-place in the time of temptation. "Thou art my hiding-place; Thou shalt preserve me from trouble; Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance."
What know we, beloved brethren, of these songs of deliverance? Is ours the happy portion of those who can say, "We are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us?" God would have it so; if it is not so, depend upon it, the fault is with ourselves. Indeed, we have His Own answer in verse 8: "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way that thou shalt go; I will guide thee with Mine eye." Oh, for subject, learning hearts, my brethren. What a refuge for our poor, tempted, and, alas! often self-satisfied hearts. "I will guide thee:" I Who loved thee, bled and died for thee. Ah, Lord! guide us and give us grace to humbly follow Thee, and be guided in all things by Thee.
The psalm closes very aptly: "Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous, and shout for joy all ye that are upright in heart." Sin having been put away, every question settled, we are now set free in perfect liberty, and our hearts may now flow forth in praise and adoration. But let us ever remember, that praise flowing from the lips of one who is cherishing known and unjudged sin is an abomination in the sight of Him with whom we have to do. Let us beware of honouring Him with our lips when our hearts are far from Him.