KEEP ME FROM WILLFUL DELIBERATE INTENTIONAL SINS
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
This text has also been translated to mean, keep me from proud or arrogant people. The word translated as “wilful sins” or “presumptuous sins” can also be a reference to proud or arrogant people. When a word being translated has a possibility of more than one meaning, the preferable word is determined by the context. Psalm 19:12 “But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults.” The preceding text tells us that the psalmist is concerned about his mistakes, errors and faults against God. In Psalm 19:12 he tells us about hidden sins and therefore in Psalm 19:13 he tells us about deliberate sins. The context therefore is not a discussion of people but sins of the psalmist. From that context we prefer to translate Psalm 19:13 as referring to wilful sins. Keep me from wilful deliberate intentional sins!
The critical concept in this passage is, “keep your servant.” Whether from proud or arrogant people, or from wilful sins, it is only God who can keep. The psalmist admits that he is unable to help himself and he needs the help of God. We are wise when we realise our weaknesses. We need to pray everyday that God keeps us away from wrong people and from sins. Unless God keeps us, we will walk to our destruction, and helplessly so. May God keep you and keep me from wrong people and from sins. Keep me from wilful deliberate intentional sins!
Sin is sin. Sin offends God. The psalmist demonstrates his understanding that sin is sin, by confessing all categories of sin. In Psalm 19:12 he tells us of hidden sins. Hidden to him the psalmist, because they cannot be hidden before God. These are sins that are committed unknowingly. You don’t even realise you have done something wrong. Hidden sins, hidden from the sinner. In Psalm 19:13 he refers to deliberate or presumptuous, or wilful or intentional sins. Things you know are wrong, and you go ahead and do them, knowing that they are wrong. The sin is not hidden from God or the sinner, it is deliberate, intentional and wilful. The psalmist confesses all these categories of sins. Keep me from wilful deliberate intentional sins!
This text reveals to us that we have no much power or control over sins, whether deliberate or unintentional. Sometimes christians would wrongly suggest that unpardonable sins are those that are committed deliberately. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Psalmist has revealed that, we don’t have control over unintentional sins, because we don’t even know when we commit them. The Psalmist has also revealed that unless God keeps us from deliberate sins, we would still commit them even when we don’t want to. We need God’s power to even stop doing what we clearly know is wrong. Knowledge doesn’t save, it is God who saves. Therefore knowing is not enough. God must save us from what we know. Keep me from wilful deliberate intentional sins!
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
Romans 7 cited above demonstrates the power of sin over an individual. Apostle Paul found himself deliberately doing that which he knew is wrong. He knew it is sin, and he knew he should not do it, and against his will he kept doing it. This sin was deliberate. Only when we invite God do we gain victory over intentional and unintentional sins. Keep me from wilful deliberate intentional sins!
We don’t have control over intentional sins. We have no control over any type of sin. Unless God keeps us away from such sins, we will still commit them knowingly and unknowingly. Hence the prayer of the Psalmist should be our prayer. Keep me from wilful deliberate intentional sins!
The role of the Holy Spirit is to show us what sin is. The Holy Spirit enables us to know the sins we could have committed unintentionally. The Holy Spirit also gives us power to resist attractive intentional sins. Without that power, we would walk to our own death as we sin intentionally. The Holy Spirit therefore is the power we need to overcome sin. To sin against the Holy Spirit is to refuse to listen to the Holy Spirit. To sin against the Holy Spirit is to reject the Holy Spirit in your life. Without the Holy Spirit, we will die in sin for we are helpless at the hands of sin. To sin against the Holy Spirit is therefore the unpardonable sin. God has given us the Holy Spirit to keep us from intentional and unintentional sins. Keep me from wilful deliberate intentional sins!
God keeps us from sin, whichever sin, through the Holy Spirit’s actions in our lives. God also intervenes and changes circumstances to ensure we don’t sin against Him. Exodus 13:17-18 God changed the route the Israelites were using, because one route would have caused them to sin against God by causing them to turn back to Egypt. God can keep you from sinning if you allow Him to. God can interfere with plans to sin. God can cause lack of money that would have been used to sin. God can allow sickness to interfere with plans to sin. God can allow weather changes to affect all plans to sin. God, if allowed, can do anything and we will be kept from intentional sins. That is why the Psalmist realising how helpless he was, requested for God’s intervention. Keep me from wilful deliberate intentional sins!
We remain guilty of all sins. We are guilty of intentional and unintentional sins. We are guilty because we don’t invite God to help us, or we don’t listen to God when He tells us what is wrong and what is right. Since we are guilty, we need to confess and repent all our sins. We need like the Psalmist to seek God’s help to overcome intentional and unintentional sins. Keep me from wilful deliberate intentional sins!
May God keep me from intentional and unintentional sins, in Jesus name, Amen!