What does it mean to cover sin?


I’ve spent the past three days staring at the Atlantic Ocean from the balcony of a condo at Kiawah Island. There’s nothing quite like spending time with God as nature stares back, speaking truth.

You’ll sink our sins to the bottom of the ocean.  Micah 7.19 (MSG)

That’s where God wants our sins. Thrown where they cannot be retrieved. Covered forever.

It’s where He wants the sins of others too, people who have hurt us, failed us, and sinned against us.

Why do we want to collect sins like seashells? We’re not brazen enough to deep sea dive to find them. But we’re willing to wait for them to wash up on the shore of our memories. Fragments of pain dotting the beach of our frolicking, capturing our attention and hurting our feet. We focus downward instead of out toward the horizon where hope is waiting. Where promise is calling.

This collection of sins also keeps our boats docked, keeps us paralyzed by inaction, fear, and bitterness.  Instead of launching out into the future of God’s goodness, instead of walking on waters of faith, we prefer to waste time trying to piece together the past. We prefer to expand our collection of sinshells. Focused on the what-could-have-beens, and the what-should-have-beens, when God wants us focused on what-can-be.

Why can’t we trust Him this way? Why do we choose to sort out past mistakes and miseries when we know that all that happens to us is working  for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans? Romans 8.28 (TLB)

We don’t have to know HOW God is working everything out for our good. We just have to believe that He is working it all out.

Until we accept God’s way, until we understand that covering sin is how we fit into God’s plan, we will never know joy.

Where is the god who can compare with you—
    wiping the slate clean of guilt,
Turning a blind eye, a deaf ear,
    to the past sins of your purged and precious people?
You don’t nurse your anger and don’t stay angry long,
    for mercy is your specialty. That’s what you love most.
And compassion is on its way to us.
    You’ll stamp out our wrongdoing.
You’ll sink our sins
    to the bottom of the ocean.

Micah 7.19-20 (MSG)


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