'Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins'

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a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
It seems odd that the longer we know the Lord, and come to stand in His light, the more desperately we should learn to pray this. But that is my own experience. I find it comforting that God gave us this prayer, knowing us better than we know ourselves.

"Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins."—Psalm 19:13.
SUCH was the prayer of the "man after God's own heart." Did holy David need to pray thus? How needful, then, must such a prayer be for us babes in grace! It is as if he said, "Keep me back, or I shall rush headlong over the precipice of sin." Our evil nature, like an ill-tempered horse, is apt to run away. May the grace of God put the bridle upon it, and hold it in, that it rush not into mischief. What might not the best of us do if it were not for the checks which the Lord sets upon us both in providence and in grace! The psalmist's prayer is directed against the worst form of sin—that which is done with deliberation and wilfulness. Even the holiest need to be "kept back" from the vilest transgressions. It is a solemn thing to find the apostle Paul warning saints against the most loathsome sins. "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry." What! do saints want warning against such sins as these? Yes, they do. The whitest robes, unless their purity be preserved by divine grace, will be defiled by the blackest spots. Experienced Christian, boast not in your experience; you will trip yet if you look away from Him who is able to keep you from falling. Ye whose love is fervent, whose faith is constant, whose hopes are bright, say not, "We shall never sin," but rather cry, "Lead us not into temptation." There is enough tinder in the heart of the best of men to light a fire that shall burn to the lowest hell, unless God shall quench the sparks as they fall. Who would have dreamed that righteous Lot could be found drunken, and committing uncleanness? Hazael said, "Is Thy servant a dog, that he should do this thing?" and we are very apt to use the same self-righteous question. May infinite wisdom cure us of the madness of self-confidence.

-C. H. Spurgeon
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Presumptuous sins had no suitable sacrifice under the Mosaic economy but could be punished by death or a ransom payment in lieu of death. See e.g. Numbers 15.

The person who committed a presumptuous sin against any of the 10C had to look for mercy in Christ not through the blood of a sacrifice, but beyond the whole system of the blood of bulls and goats, as did David in Psalm 51.

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Free Christian

Puritan Board Sophomore
Good post Heidi. Any of us can fall at times. Shows that war continually rages within us between the old and the new. Im looking forward to the day the knockout blow gets landed on that old one :)
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
The knockout blow has landed - the old man just hasn't realized it yet!
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Presumptuous sins had no suitable sacrifice under the Mosaic economy but could be punished by death or a ransom payment in lieu of death. See e.g. Numbers 15.

The person who committed a presumptuous sin against any of the 10C had to look for mercy in Christ not through the blood of a sacrifice, but beyond the whole system of the blood of bulls and goats, as did David in Psalm 51.

I've been reading through the Pentateuch and noticing the death penalties for a number of issues -- not just what we think of as the biggest sins, but the sabbath breaking and the worshipping of God in the ways that other nations did, etc. It's a beautiful point that this illustrates how the sacrificial system itself had to be overreached and something beyond it had to be laid hold of.

Brett, I think sometimes we are allowed to fall in various ways/degrees so we learn that our real safety is in trusting Christ to keep us, and not trying to keep ourselves. I have loved the recent emphasis in sermons I've been hearing about how Christians by definition are a people who have no investment in avoiding the acknowledgment of the utter sinfulness from which they are being saved. 'For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.' If we do start putting confidence in the flesh, it's a mercy to be reminded of our need.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
I think sometimes we are allowed to fall in various ways/degrees so we learn that our real safety is in trusting Christ to keep us, and not trying to keep ourselves.

Providentially, this is something our Pastor emphasized today in closing up Romans Chapter 7. The justified sinner glorifies God even in his failings, because, among other things, he learns repeatedly that he cannot overcome sin through his own power.
 
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