What was David seeking of the LORD when he asked: “Cleanse me from secret faults” (Psalm 19:12)?


David, in verses 7-11 of Psalm 19, had just described the
considerable blessings which exist in obedience to God’s law and His
Way of life! He spoke to the law of the LORD, to the testimony, to the
statutes of the LORD, to the commandment, to the fear of the LORD and
to the judgments of the LORD. He knew that all of God’s laws were in
existence during his time and had been established for all times–even
to the end of this present society and on into eternity! These laws
describe the very character of our God and a Way of life for us!

described the extreme value of God’s requirements of men; and then
raised the question in verse 12, “Who can understand his errors?” He
realized that he was not perfect in all his ways, when compared with
the requirements of the LORD! His desire was to please God in all that
he did, and he understood the need to correct all of the errors in his
life, which were in conflict with God’s Way! Thus, in his prayer to God
for help in overcoming his weaknesses, he requested that God would help
him in overcoming even the sins he committed in ignorance.

subject is addressed in detail in Leviticus, chapter 4, by the LORD in
His instruction to Moses; which instruction addressed sins committed in
ignorance as compared to sins committed presumptuously, in open
rebellion to God’s Way of life (See also, Numbers 15:22-31)!

the children of Israel, God had established the sin offering to address
such sins committed unintentionally and in ignorance. God had also
established the trespass offering to address intentional sins, which
were not committed presumptuously (Leviticus 5:1-19; 6:1-7). David’s
noting this particular area of unintentional sin in his life
illustrated his great desire to please God and to be perfectly obedient
to all of God’s requirements. David often beseeched God in addressing
this problem in his life (Compare Psalm 26:2; Psalm 77:1-6; Psalm
119:59; Psalm 139:23-24).

This, of course, must
become our attitude to God’s law and His Way of life. In fulfilling our
responsibility in obedience to God, we should be continually examining
our lives with the standard of God’s law and with the perfect example
set by Jesus Christ always in our forethoughts! Being the perfect
example–He fulfilled all aspects of His Father’s Will while living in
the flesh.

We note in the book of Lamentations, chapter 3, verse
40: “Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the
LORD…” The prophet, Haggai, notes in Haggai 1:7 these words of the LORD
of hosts: “Consider your ways!”

David came to understand that
nothing he did could be hidden from God, and he passed this important
lesson on to the one who would rule in his place: “As for you, my son
Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart
and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and
understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be
found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever” (1
Chronicles 28:9).

God speaks directly to each of His people in
respect to the need for self examination, as recorded in 1 Corinthians
11:28, 31. In this case God is making specific reference to His
Passover, where He says: “But let a man examine himself, and so let him
eat of the bread and drink of the cup… For if we would judge
ourselves, we should not be judged.” Of course, self examination should
not be reserved for the Passover season only, but is an exercise we
should be carrying out continually (compare 2 Corinthians 13:5). And
our searching out of sins committed unintentionally or in ignorance, as
well as overcoming sins that we still commit intentionally, because of
the weakness of our flesh, must always be in the forefront of our

Lead Writer: J. Edwin Pope

©2023 Church of the Eternal God