Cover-Ups Stink


“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Psalm 32:1).

The smell at an overflowing garbage landfill became a growing public concern. Workers at the landfill decided to install high-pressure deodorant guns to counteract the odor. The deodorant guns had the capacity to spray several gallons of fragrance per minute over a distance of up to fifty yards across the mounds of putrefying garbage. However, no matter how many gallons of fragrance are sprayed to mask the sickening smell of the landfill, the deodorant will only serve as a cover-up until the source of the stench is removed.

King David once tried a cover-up as well. He had everything a man could want but still wasn’t satisfied. He used his position of authority to take someone who didn’t belong to him, and in doing so he broke God’s law. After his sin of adultery with Bathsheba, David tried to use silence, deceit, and even treachery to cover his moral failures (II Samuel 11-12). In Psalm 32 he talks about experiencing the heavy hand of God’s conviction while he remained silent (vv. 3-4). As his life began to unravel and his happiness spiraled downward, David uncovered his sin by confessing and repenting of it (v. 5). When he came clean with God, God forgave him and he no longer needed a cover-up. Instead of his story ending with guilt and despair, David found forgiveness and grace in God’s sight.

How futile it is to attempt to hide our sin! The stench of our disobedience will seep through whatever we try to use to cover it. Let’s acknowledge to God the rubbish of our sins and then experience, like David, the fresh cleansing of His mercy and forgiveness. When we do that, we will be truly “blessed” or “happy,” as some translate that word, especially when we recall that not only does God forgive us, but He removes our sin as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). That’s grace!