Meditations on Psalm 19:12

Transcript of Midweek Meditations podcast episode aired on Wednesday, 7th October 2020.

How well do you know yourself? Do you know your strengths and weaknesses? Can you tell me what you like or dislike? What do you love? What gives you joy? Peace? What are your temptations? Do you understand the processes of your heart and mind?

At the time of this recording, I’m 36 years old. I’m still learning things about me. I’m discovering and rediscovering parts of me that I like… And things I don’t like. There are still emotions I don’t fully understand, and impulses I don’t fully control. I realise there’s still a lot to discern in me.

As we meditate on God’s Word, we’re reminded we all have blind spots and weaknesses in our hearts. At the same time, we’re reminded of who God is.

But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults.

Psalm 19:12 (NIV)

Why is it always easier to see the faults of others? It makes us feel better when we see other people aren’t perfect, doesn’t it? The danger, of course, is feeding our sinful pride, or building our sense of identity and worth in comparison to others’ weaknesses. If only we could see the faults in our own hearts! It’s why Jesus warns us, isn’t it?

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Matthew 7:3–5 (NIV)

The point of this, though, isn’t to make us feel guilty about our sin and weakness, but humble. The psalmist levels the field, “Who can discern their own errors?” No matter how well I know myself, there will always be blindspots in my heart.

Therefore, the psalmist prays, “Forgive my hidden faults.” This isn’t a confession of known sin, failure and weaknesses. No, this is a confession of the unknown and unseen. In humility, we come to a holy God who sees all things, who sees into the deepest depths of our hearts, and discerns what we cannot.

Yet, before you freak out in guilt and shame of the hidden depths of your heart, remember this: We have a God who forgives. We can come to God in humble confession, even our hidden faults, because our God is a God who forgives. He is a God of grace. A God of mercy. A God of love.

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.

Psalm 32:5 (NIV)

Will you confess your sin to him today? When you do, remember that he is faithful and just, and will forgive you your sins and purify you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). What a God we serve! What a God we worship!

Let’s pray.


Heavenly Father, what a privilege to be able to confess our sins to you. There is no guilt, no shame, no fear; instead, we find in you grace, mercy, and love. We thank you for the Cross where our Lord Jesus died. Jesus, you shed your blood for us, washing us clean from the stain of sin. Holy Spirit, continue to convict us of our sin, leading us — not into guilt, shame, or fear — but to humbly seek forgiveness and repentance.

So, this day we ask you will forgive us of our sin, forgive our hidden faults. Keep us from wilful sins, may they not rule over us. May we be blameless in your sight, innocent of great transgression. May the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart be pleasing in your sight; O LORD, our Rock and our Redeemer (Psalm 19:12–14).

In Jesus’ name, amen.