Then I acknowledged my sin to you

    and did not cover up my iniquity.

I said, “I will confess

    my transgressions to the Lord.”

And you forgave

    the guilt of my sin.

There is such freedom in confession. It leads to knowing the blessing of full forgiveness.

If we are thinking, in this psalm, about that chapter in David’s life when he sinned with Bathsheba (see 2 Samuel 11,12), then verse 5 will correspond to 2 Samuel 12:13, where we see that the prayer of confession led to instantaneous forgiveness.

I just happened to be listening to 2 Samuel 11,12 the other day, and even though I know the story well, I felt shocked by the ruthlessness and brutality David showed in ‘stealing’ another man’s wife, then having this man of integrity – Uriah- killed, in an effort to cover his tracks. Of course, he couldn’t. He found himself hopelessly exposed in God’s searchlights. It is, for us, breathtaking (and encouraging) to realise that he could be instantly forgiven for that. ‘Amazing grace’!

(I just make the point in passing though, that, although David could be forgiven for the guilt of his sin, he still had to face its consequences. That is another story, and beyond the scope of what we are studying here. Still, it should be noted. It is salutary).

It follows that we should be wary of making cheap confession. David’s was anything but cheap. As we have seen, he went through the wringer to get to the place of coming clean.

Proverbs 28:13 says: “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

Confessing and renunciation; confession and forsaking, go together. What the Bible envisages is not a trite ‘going to confession’ so you can do it all again quite happily next week, knowing you can go to confession again…and so on, and so forth, ad infinitum. (I realise this may be a bit of a stereotype, but I have reason to believe it really does happen).

Look at 1 John 1:8-10: someone commented that the only way sin can leave the body is ‘through the mouth’, as we confess it.