“Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.“–Ps. 19:12
Who can discern his errors? – In the Scottish highlands is an old bridge that spans a wild cataract. Its structure is so massive, and it rises so high above the gorge that it is known as “The High Bridge.” But something happened that made it necessary for officials to condemn it. A tiny birch seed, caught by a gust of wind, dropped into a small crevice above the keystone. It lodged unnoticed in the lime, and before long it germinated. Soon it was a young sapling, but still nobody saw it. As it grew into a tree, its roots went deep into the mortar. Eventually it began to loosen and crack the masonry so that the arch was severely damaged. The bridge that had defied violent storms and supported the weight of marching armies finally had to be closed to traffic. It had succumbed to a small seed.
So too in the Christian life, one little hidden sin can weaken the foundation of a person’s character and be the cause of his downfall. I think David must have sensed this when he cried out, “Cleanse Thou me from secret faults.” Such a prayer does not open the door to morbid introspection. Rather, it expresses a desire that the soul-searching work of God’s convicting power will reveal to us our spiritual defects. To ask for less is to run the risk of allowing some evil, though it be ever so small, to take root in our hearts. Soon the seed becomes a sapling; and the sapling becomes a full-grown tree, dislodging the spiritual masonry of our lives.
Recognizing that our iniquities and secret sins are all known by God (Psalm 90:8), let us daily seek His cleansing. -P. R. Van Gorder.