Keep Your Servant Also from Willful Sins
Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression (Psalm 19:12,13 NIV).
We live in a world which constantly tries to whitewash sin. By believing these lies about sins people go on living in them. Thus they go far away from God. The danger is more because they never realize that they are away from God because they treated their sins as no sins at all!
In the light of these realities, the above-mentioned prayer becomes so meaningful. The Psalmist is right when he says that no one can really discern his errors. To discern means to find out. Only the Holy Spirit can show us our faults. Therefore he prays to God to forgive his hidden faults. So ask the Holy Spirit to show you your hidden faults so that you can ask God’s forgiveness.
But then he goes one step further. He prays for strength. He wants God to help him not commit willful sins. These are sins that people do deliberately even though they clearly know that they are breaking God’s commands. There is an obvious reason why he prayed like that. He had found out that these willful sins are capable of ruling over him. In other words, even though he knew what he was doing was wrong, he found it impossible to stop doing such sins. Such is the power of willful sins. Once you start indulging in them, you find that you are slave to that sin. It keeps dominating your mind and your entire behavior. The Psalmist also realized another grave danger. He understood that these willful sins would lead to great transgressions. That is small sins repeated leads to big sin. So he prayed to God to keep him from willful sins. He knew that it was the only way to be blameless!