God's Way of Covering Sin

Sermon delivered on November 1st, 2015

By: Pastor Greg Hocson


Text: Proverb 28:13 He that covereth his sin shall not prosper, but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.


If we go around our neighborhood and ask a hundred people, "What is the biggest problem that mankind faces today?" the answers we would get would be many and varied.


I believe some of the answers would include lack of education, homeland security, terrorism, violence, economy, poverty, hunger, disregard for human life, basic human rights, racial tension, pollution, population explosion, global warming, mortality, religion and the list could go on and on.


Now each of these is a serious problem, and there are no quick and easy solutions to any of these problems. But as serious as many of these problems are, still none of these is man's biggest problem. So what is it? Man's biggest problem is sin and how do we get rid of it.


Sin is a tragic reality. It is universal. It is the ugliest thing in this life. It is evil. It is destructive. Sin destroys individuals, families, churches and nations.


So, the greatest problem mankind is facing, is sin and how to solve and get rid of it.


Ever since the Fall, men have attempted to solve the problem of sin. In fact, our first parents attempted to do so.

Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.


After Adam and Eve disobeyed God and discovered that they were naked immediately they set about to make themselves a covering. 

7: And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.


"They sewed fig leaves together." They gathered fig tree leaves and weave it together and made coverings for themselves. This was a desperate attempt to cover their sin and it proved to be a miserable failure.

8: And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 


Our first parents attempted to conceal their sin and guilt and hide from God.


Since then, it has not changed, men have been trying to cover their sin and to get rid of it by their own inventions and have never succeeded.


Today, I want to look at two possible ways to get rid of sin, to possible ways of covering sin.


I want us to consider the Covering, the Consequence and the Call.


I - The Covering

There are two basic ways of covering sin - man's way and God's way.


1. Man's Way

Just like our first parents, men and women have "sewed fig leaves together" to clothed themselves and cover their sins. What are the ways men cover their sins?


1) By Silence

When David committed the sin of adultery and murder, he tried to cover his sin. For the whole year he covered his sin by his silence. He tried to ignore his sins. There was no confession, no acknowledgement of sin and because of this he did not prosper.


People cover their sin by their silence. They have never confessed to God their sinfulness, their helplessness, their hopelessness.


We may attempt to cover our sins by silence or by ignoring them but the Bible says, we will not prosper.


2) By Excusing sin

Another way men conceal their sins is by excusing or minimizing their sins. A good example of one who minimized his sin is King Saul. (1 Samuel 15)


God had told Saul to kill the enemy, the Amalekites, and the animals but he disobeyed God, he spared King Agag and best of the sheep and the oxen. When Samuel came the next day, God had revealed it to him, Saul came to Samuel and saying "Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD" (1 Samuel 15:13). Then Samuel said "What meaneth is this bleating of the sheep in my ears". (1 Samuel 15:14)


Samuel replied, "Really, what then is this sound of sheep and cattle that I hear?"


And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. (1 Samuel 15:14)


What is Saul doing? He was rationalizing. He was downplaying his sin. Saul spared Agag and he looked at those sheep and oxen and reasoned that to kill them, would be a waste, for they could be used as sacrifice to God.


It is no different today, like Saul, many downplay their sins. Today people commit adultery and fornication and cover it by minimizing and saying, "Everybody is doing it." "We are not hurting anybody." "Well, we live in a different age, in a different society."


But regardless of what Hollywood and our society says, adultery and fornication is still sin.


Proverb 28:13 He that covereth his sin shall not prosper ...


When we cover our sins by minimizing it, we shall not prosper and we shall not find mercy with God.


3) Shifting responsibility

Still another way of men hiding their sin is by blaming others and situations for their sins. Here is something that is ingrained in our heart and it is obvious we got this from our first parents because this is what they did when God confronted them with their sin.

Genesis 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10: And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11: And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? 12: And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13: And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

In stead of going to God for forgiveness Adam and Eve tried to cover their sin by blaming each other, the Devil and God Himself.


Flip Wilson's wife is in the habit of buying new dress to which Flip is not happy. Another new dress? Why did you buy another one? I didn't buy it, the Devil made me do it!


People cover their sins by shifting responsibility. People blame their background, their culture, the society, their personality, the way they were raised, what their parents did or did not do.


"True I lost my temper and I said words I should have not said, but if they had not provoked me."


Instead of going to God, "Lord forgive me for my anger." We blame our children, our wife, our husband, our parents and if we do that, the Bible says ...


Proverb 28:13 He that covereth his sin shall not prosper ...


4) Religious activities, rituals and deeds

This is the most subtle covering for sin. Christians and non-Christians cover their sins by engaging in religious activities, hoping that it would wash away their sins.


This is the most subtle covering for sin.

Isaiah 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. 2: Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. 3: Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. 4: Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. 5: Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

They were not church absentees, or they were not out there playing golf on Sundays? They come to the Temple regularly, they were eager to know God's ways, they fast regularly, and they did not fall asleep on the preacher. They were active. But the problem was that all their activities were nothing but a cover up for the sin of their own hearts.


Are you covering your sins with religious activities? Church attendance, prayer meeting, soul winning, teaching, preaching, praying? No amount of religious activities can cover or wash away sin.


Proverb 28:13 He that covereth his sin shall not prosper ...


2. God's Way

God covers sin and how does He cover sin?

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9: For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.


1) He uncovers it

Before He can cover our sins He must uncover us and our sins. God wants us to get rid of all the "fig leaves we have sawn together to conceal our sins."


Oh, how different is God's way of covering sins.


In the process of covering our sins, He uncovers it. He exposes it. This exposing of sin is a manifestation of the mercy of God. He convicts and when He convicts we know that mercy and forgiveness is always offered? He does not convict to condemn, He convicts to forgive and to show mercy.


Let God uncover it.

Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


2) He covers it

After God uncovers our sins in mercy and grace, bringing in us into a place where we get rid of the "fig tree leaves" we have sewn together, then He covers our sins in mercy and grace.


There is a wonderful statement in ...

Psalm 85:2 Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.


There is the covering made by God in His grace. That is the blood of Jesus Christ. Our sins are covered when God forgives our sins for the sake of His Son.


Psalm 32:1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2: Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.


Romans 4: 6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7: Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8: Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.


When God covers sin, the sin is not just concealed, but the covered sin is wiped out and forgotten by God.

Micah 7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. 19: He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. 


Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.


Do not cover it. Let God uncover it. This is the way of mercy. Only God can cover our sins. Men cannot do it. Do not attempt to do what you cannot do. Do not attempt what God alone could do.


II - The Consequence

Two very different outcomes to each of the covering of sin.


1. Outcome of man's covering

Proverb 28:13 He that covereth his sin shall not prosper, but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Shall not prosper that is, those who attempt to sew "fig tree leaves for covering" shall not prosper. 


We shall not prosper in the sense that we will not succeed in hiding it. We may try to hide and bury our sins but we will not succeed. We cannot hide it from ourselves, because our own conscience will testify against it. And ultimately, we cannot hide it from God, and God will call us to give an account for it.


We shall not prosper in the sense that we will not receive mercy and forgiveness.


Listen to the confession of David in ...

Psalm 32:3 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. 4: For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.

While David kept silent, his bones waxed old. David felt the hand of God heavy upon his soul. His health was affected. He was spiritually, emotionally and physically exhausted because he covered his sin by silence.


David did not succeed because his conscience testified against him and as a result for a whole year he had no sense of forgiveness, no peace of mind and no clear conscience.


2. Outcome of God's covering

Proverb 28:13 He that covereth his sin shall not prosper, but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Those who expose their sins by confessing and forsaking them shall prosper. They shall receive mercy and forgiveness full and free.

Psalm 32:1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2: Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.


Who wouldn't choose prosperity? Who wouldn't choose success? Who wouldn't choose blessings? Who wouldn't choose mercy? Who wouldn't choose forgiveness?


None of us would choose failure over success? So, why do we? What is it about covering our sins instead of confessing them? Could it be because we love our sins more than forgiveness? Could it be we are too proud to expose them?


III - The Call

Proverb 28:13 He that covereth his sin shall not prosper, but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.


God calls us to repentance. God calls us to confess and forsake sin. The promise of mercy and forgiveness do not apply to those who "sew fig tree leaves for their covering". The promise of mercy is for those who uncover their sin by confessing and forsaking sin.


Psalm 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.


Mercy there was great and grace free

Pardon there was multiplied to me

There my burdened soul found liberty

At Calvary!


IV - Closing Thoughts

I close with this reminder and invitation. Jesus Christ came into the world not only to confirm that God is just but also merciful and ready to forgive.


Do you need forgiveness? Turn from your sin this morning, trust in Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord, and you will find a wideness in God's mercy like the wideness of the sea.


He that covers his sins before God by silence, by rationalization, and by shifting the blame and by religious activities shall not prosper now and shall never know the joy of forgiveness and shall not know the delights reserved for the people of God.

Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.