The Gravity of Presumptuous Sin

Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression. Psalm 19:13

Yesterday in our weekly small group fellowship we were looking at Job 13:1-12. Job’s friends have heard of his suffering and came to comfort him. At first they sit with him in silence, for a week, perplexed and pained to see their good friend thus.

Until they broke the silence, with an erroneous conclusion that Job suffers because he sinned. And from there they make accusation after another, as Job defends himself. He, at last, grows frustrated by the insensitivity of his friends.

But he is also frustrated by their misrepresentation of God. He asks in verse 8, ‘Will you show partiality for Him? Will you contend for God?’. In their zeal to represent God, they misrepresented Him.

To be presumptuous is to go beyond what is right, proper, or appropriate because of an excess of self-confidence or arrogance.

David, like Job, hates presumption and doesn’t want to rest until he experiences victory in this area too. In verse 12 of Psalm 19, he asks who can understand his errors. And then he asks God to keep him from presumptuous sins. David knows this sin, the sin of being overly confident in our (supposed) knowledge is rampant but subtle.

So subtle that we baptize this ignorant arrogance ‘deep revelation’. We look at falsehood and error and say ‘this is deep’! And we arrogantly scoff at attempted correction. We overstep textual and contextual boundaries looking for subtle mystical interpretations no one has heard.

We err and cause others to err. David doesn’t think we can be blameless with this sin having dominion. He also thinks this sin is subtle. And most of all, he knows only God can keep us from falling victim to this subtle sin.

Will you pray this prayer with David? Will you in effect tell God today: ‘Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength, and my Redeemer.’?