Recapturing Family Camp Morning Devotions

Dear BPCWAians, This week we will revisit some highlights from the Camp Morning Devotions taken from Psalm 19:12-14 written by David:

(12) Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.

(13) Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

(14) Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

God Himself called David “a man after His own heart” (1 Sam 13:14, Acts 13:22). From this Psalm we can glean some characteristics of such a man and learn more to be like him and thus delight God. What are the 321’s of a man after God’s own heart? He desires 3 things – (1) v12 : to be clean (2) v13a : to be kept back from presumptuous sins and (3) v13b : to not be dominated by presumptuous sins. He has 2 aims – (1) v13c : to be upright, and (2) v13d : to be innocent from the great transgression. And he has one purpose – v14 : to be acceptable in his LORD’s sight. We also saw 4 kinds of sins mentioned here – errors, secret faults, presumptuous sins, and the great transgression.

4 sins to be wary of. The man after God’s own heart cries to God to show him his errors. These are sins of ignorance. He is not content to just confess and repent of his known sins. He constantly wants to be as pure as He can be and not have any sins that is grieving God that he is not conscious of. What an attitude. No wonder he is a man after God’s own heart. How do we know our sins of ignorance? Vv7-11 is the answer – through knowing God’s Word which “enlightens the eye” and “by them thy servant is warned”. When we keep studying the Word, it will show us more and more. And when we begin to realise through the ongoing studying that there is much more to keeping the Lord’s Day, to the family model, to purity of certain areas of life, we have to repent and live more carefully. Secret faults can be secret sins we keep after God convicts us. No one may know, not even those closest to us. We can even have the right outward life but inwardly there are sins festering that we still hold on to. Presumptuous sins are sins we commit in arrogance without the fear of God. When we seem to get away with secret sins, soon we commit them openly. Not only that, presumptuous sins are those which we commit because we do not care what God’s Word says. We know what is the right family model but because we want to have our way, we ignore God’s Word. We know what is the right thing to do about a relationship, but we refuse to obey. We know what is wrong with a particular job, but to have a certain lifestyle, we keep going on. We presume upon the longsuffering of God. The great transgression is the sin that will explode and change your life forever. When we continue in our secret and presumptuous sins, God will eventually remove His Hand of protection and allow you to be exposed. If you keep stealing, lying, cheating, or harbour secret lusts and refuse to repent, Satan will lead you deeper, cause you to commit even greater sins and wait until it is the prime time to cause you to fall. Your family will be shamed, your life will not be the same again, and most sadly the Name of God will be shamed by you.

Desire 1 – Cleanse me (12b): I want to be squeaky clean. The man after God’s own heart is one that desires to be constantly clean before God with nothing between him and God that is affecting his fellowship with His beloved LORD. Cleanse refers to wiping totally clean to be blameless. The moment God shows any sins of ignorance, he will stop doing it. Moreover, he wants to be free from all secret sins.

Desire 2 – Keep back thy servant (13a): Do whatever it takes to stop me! Keep back paints a picture of a horse that needs to be restrained from going its own direction. The bits and spurs used to restrain and direct a horse causes pain in the mouth and body respectively. This prayer of the man after God’s own heart is asking God to do whatever it takes by whatever means, even if it hurts him, in order to stop him from going on in his presumptuousness in sinning. He prays such a prayer because he really want to stop sinning. He’d rather go through whatever pain is needed so that he stops grieving his LORD. He’d rather God takes away his job, his health, his wealth, friendship, whatever that is causing him to sin (Matt 5:29-30). Would you pray such a prayer?

Desire 3 – Let them not have dominion over me (13b): No addictions. The man after God’s own heart does not want to be controlled by, ruled by, or enslaved by any sin. David used the word “thy servant” because He wants only his LORD to be his master, not any sin. Are you serious about removing any idol, hobby, friendship, and pursuit that has taken control of your time, energy, resources, and which affects your quiet time, coming to church, and serving God? Has TV, internet, friendships become a controlling master enslaving you? The man after God’s own heart desires that nothing addicts Him. But the problem is sometimes we pray this prayer but when God works, we find ways to circumvent and try to push on to satisfy that addiction. We refuse to take God’s help. God will provide a way of escape (1 Cor 10:13), but we refuse the exit.

Aim 1 -Be upright (13c).The man after God’s own heart aims to be upright. To be righteous, free from any faults and sins. There is no sinless perfection in this life. But to be upright before God is to constantly repent and get rid of any sins and idols that control us. Is this your constant aim too? Or do you not care and only want to live as you wish?

Aim 2 – Be free from the great transgression (13d). A man after God’s own heart wants to have a clean slate throughout his life and have nothing that would bring shame to God’s Name till the day he dies. Sadly, David failed. This is a grave warning to us. If the man after God’s own heart can fall into great transgression, we certainly can too. But if we keep desires 1 to 3 and obey God in them, we will be safe. Keep studying His Word, never falter else you will be in danger. And keep dealing with sin quickly. May our life end with a godly testimony, not marred with the great transgression. Satan knows what is the great transgression you are prone to. Satan is not omniscient but he can see what you do in secret, or the sin you continue to do presumptuously. You see that nothing has gone wrong despite refusing to obey God. Your job, health, family are fine. You think you will not fall into the great transgression. But if you think you can stand, take heed lest you fall (1 Cor 10:12). Stop now. Falling into your great transgression may be just round the corner.

1 Purpose – Be acceptable in thy sight (14). I want to delight You LORD.“Acceptable” literally means to be a delight to God, to bring nothing but pleasure to God constantly before His Face. A man after God’s own heart desires to only do that which delights God. If he knows something displeases God based upon His Word, he wants to stop and be rid of it. He is careful not to sin in his speech and thoughts. He remembers God is listening and watching. He is very sensitive of His LORD’s presence whether he is with others or alone. He calls God “my strength, and my redeemer”. He remembers that God is his rock upon which he anchors his life and draws strength to delight Him. We cannot live the life of a man after God’s own heart by our own strength. Drawing strength from Him is to constantly study His Word to let it change you (19:7) and praying that God will enable you to obey (19:13) what you learnt. There is no strength without God’s Word. Finally, David remembers that he is a redeemed soul. Not only does he belong to God, he is saved for a purpose – to glorify His LORD. Like how God’s creation declares His glory (19:1-6), let my words and thoughts bring glory to God too. We all live to please someone. Is God the one you always seek to delight? Is that your sole purpose as His redeemed child? May delighting God be our great motivation.

Yours in our Lord’s service