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Presumptuous Sins

Staff Member
Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous [sins]; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Psalm 19:13

In today’s verse, David asked God to keep him from presumptuous sins—that is, deliberate, intentional sins, what the NIV calls “willful sins.” He knew that when he indulged in disobedient acts willfully, they’d end up becoming habits that ruled over him. It’s not that unintentional sins cause any less harm than intentional ones, but they don’t flow as readily from a person’s heart and mind.

The last thing David wanted was to be guilty of “the great transgression.” Which some believe meant pride or even apostasy.

David knew his wicked heart well. He was a murderer and adulterer, and he lied to cover up both. He might even have been considered slothful, given that he didn’t go out to war at the time when kings go out to battle, choosing instead to stay behind in Jerusalem (2 Samuel 11:1). That’s when he spiraled out of control.

How about you? How well do you know your own heart? What sort of gross, presumptuous sins is it capable of? Do you fear being guilty of the great transgression? Use David’s prayer in today’s verse and make it your own. Ask God to intervene, to rule your heart, and to keep you from stumbling.