“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.”
We have all heard the tragic stories of people who have fallen in sin. I never get over the heartbreak of hearing about the fall of those who were being used mightily for the LORD. It is certainly a part of the Christian battle, but it never gets easy hearing of someone’s fall. I can fully understand David’s response to Saul’s fall when he said in 2 Samuel 1:19, “The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!”
David said in the verse above, “…and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” If anyone understood what it takes to keep from falling, David had to understand. It was David who, in a time of weakness, committed the great transgression with Bathsheba. Yet, it is David whom God used to show what happens before the great transgression. This psalm reveals four things that occur before someone steps into a great transgression. Let me share with you four steps people take towards the great transgression.
Ignoring warning signs is the first step towards the great transgression. Verse 11 says, “Moreover by them is thy servant warned…” God always warns the believer through His Word, preaching, and life circumstances that they are on the pathway towards a great sin. My friend, never ignore God’s warnings of sin. He is warning you because of His mercy and love towards you. He doesn’t want you to become another casualty in the spiritual warfare in which you are engaged.
Bad decisions is the second step towards the great transgression. Verse 12 says, “Who can understand his errors?” Someone has made several bad decisions before they fall in sin. You can’t continually make bad decisions and expect to avoid the tragedy that bad decisions cause. You had better stop and get some help when you find yourself walking on a pathway of bad decisions.
Secret faults is the third step towards the great transgression. People who fall in sin are always secretive about their actions. If what you are doing is so right, why are you doing them in secret? My friend, the fact that you are having to hide what you’re doing should be the warning light that what you’re doing is sin. Righteousness never has to be done in secret because it is right. Only sin must be kept secret so that you won’t get caught.
Presumptuous sins is the fourth step towards the great transgression. You are one step away from tragedy when you become emboldened in your sin and think that you will never get caught. Satan has a way of giving you a false confidence in your ability to avoid sin’s payday, but nobody has ever avoided having to pay the bill for sin. You can be assured that you will take the next step and commit the great transgressions that will take you down when you are presumptuous about your sin.
The answer to avoiding these steps is found in verse 14 which says, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” If you want to avoid falling in sin, you must be sure that every word, thought and action are the words, thoughts and actions that would please the LORD. Anything short of pleasing the LORD is sin.