He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. – Prov. 28:13 KJV
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The biblical book of proverbs remains a reference book for words of wisdom. Dominated by wise sayings each of which seems to be two poetic lines long, the thirty-one chapter book contains very short lines of knowledge that are all attributed to King Solomon, the king whom the Bible says was given wisdom by the Lord beyond what anyone before or after him ever or would ever possess – 1Kgs. 3:11-12. The scripture for today’s Devotional is one of those two poetic line phrases that seem to address one of the reasons why people may not prosper.
To prosper in life will mean to succeed in an undertaken especially one that is related to economy. It may also be defined as the act of one becoming strong and flourishing in life. No doubt that every human being, Christians inclusive, desire to prosper in all life endeavour and it remains one of the core prayer points of many people when presenting their supplication to the Lord. Only few however are able to present testimonies of answered prayers as many can reference several years of presenting requests to the Lord without testimonies of receiving positive response from the Lord whilst there are even people who use to have testimonies of being prosperous but the story for them changed at some point. To the one who belong to this latter group, blame is hardly put on some of their actions or inactions as several factors are listed as being responsible for their failures in life without really considering the wisdom that is hidden in the foundation scripture for today’s Devotional.
King Solomon in today’s scripture, emphatically states the following:
1. Anyone that covers his/her transgressions shall not prosper.
2. Whosoever takes a decision to confess and forsake his/her sins shall have mercy.
A major word stand out in this two poetic line phrases and that is the word “shall”. The word indicates a strong assertion of something that will happen in the future and in this case it is about prospering.
The first line of this particular poetic verse asserts that anyone who covers his/her sins or transgressions will not prosper. This confirms what many people try to do when they commit acts that border on transgressions in secret and believe they are not seen by anyone. They get very satisfied that they have escaped the humiliation from people, that should accompany such actions but their success is only limited to being saved from humiliation by fellow men as nothing done, whether openly or in secret is ever hidden before the Almighty God – Lk. 8:17. He is indeed a god that sees all. He is the Jehovah Shammah and surely recompenses all according to their deeds – Gen. 16:13; Prov. 15:3; Eccl. 12:13-14. So it will not matter if men do not know as all they can do is to inflict what seems a temporary humiliation on man. Even that is dependent on the approval of the Almighty God as He it is, that holds the heart of all men including kings in his hands and He turns it in whatever direction He desires – Prov. 21:1-9. The one who therefore desires divine prosperity must learn to confess sins committed and one may want to ask; to whom?. The Bible says we must learn to confess our sins one to another and pray for one another – Jms. 5:16-20. That the one you confess your sins to is likely to reveal it to many others will not be sufficient reason not to do the needful as what is important is to seek divine direction on who to confess to and do same to save yourself from a life that is not prospering. Only the Lord has the right and the ability to cover sins and He does that only when man has confessed sins committed – Psa. 32:1.
The second line of this particular poetic verse asserts that the one who confesses and forsakes sins shall receive mercy. To confess a sin is to admit that one has committed a crime or has done something wrong. It is not sufficient to just confess such transgressions but there must be a decision to renounce or give up such acts in the future. A confession will be meaningless if there is no decision on the part of the one confessing to abstain from similar acts in the future. The Bible says that such acts of confession will earn such a person not just forgiveness but complete cleansing from such spiritual stains – 1Jn. 1:9-10. The product of such an exercise carried out with sincerity is one who is regarded as a new creation as the old personality is no longer relevant – 2Cor. 5:17.
In this new position all that is asked for from the Lord is received and prosperity follows naturally. The Christian that is approaching the Lord for prosperity must bear this great advice, from arguably the wisest man that ever and will ever live, in mind. There is no doubt that all that such lays hands on will succeed and prosper. May God grant us the honesty of mind to truly confess and forsake our transgressions so we may prosper in Jesus name. Amen.