This statement is found in the midst of David’s a confession of faith. It is part of his confession of faith. He speaks of the obedience of his faith.
“The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness.” He is not saying he is saved by his good deeds; he is referring to the period when he was threatened & pursued & persecuted by Saul. In all that time he sought to trust in the Lord – twice he had opportunity to slay Saul – but he would not do it. He chose to trust the Lord, and wait on God’s timing – this was his faith in action, so he says in V.20 & 24 “Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness, … According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.” 21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, And have not wickedly departed from my God. 22 For all His judgments were before me, And I did not put away His statutes from me… 23 I was also blameless before Him…
Then in V.23 he adds this… “And I kept myself from my sin”.
As much as he sought to be blameless, he still had a struggle with sin. Here, David speaks for all true believers. He has a problem with sin, and this is how he deals with it.
There is no doubt he desires to walk with God – this is the only way, that we as sinners can do so. John says, “If we say we have no sin, we lie and the truth is not in us. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
This is how David walked in the light – he owned his sin. This is how God described him as a young man – “a man after my own heart.” And if we are true believers, this is how God regards us all. Sin complicates things for us, but this is how we walk in the light – we own our sin.
This is one of the chief reasons for this table. It enables us to be honest, and to keep on being honest. We have a problem with sin. God knows we have a problem. He knows it could not be otherwise. That is why Jesus said, “as often as you eat and drink, do this in remembrance of Me.” We need the comfort of His Presence.
He refers to it as “my sin”, or “my iniquity”. He is not so much troubled with sin generally. It is a particular sin that is a burden to him. We are not told what it is, and that is very instructive. We are not required to lay bare to others the sordid details of our lives, in order to feel our conscience is appeased.
We are not required to sit in a booth and make confession to a priest, in order to obtain absolution. We pour out our confession to God. But even then we are under no legalistic bind to account for every sin before God, in order to be assured of His forgiveness. He assures us of this, if we confess our sins.
He is faithful & just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness. It would be a physical impossibility to confess all our sins, seeing they are more than the hairs of our head. What is required, is the sincere intention to do so, particularly with the sins that trouble us – they are the ones the HS has brought to our attention. They are the ones He has convicted us of.
It is repentance. Paul warned the Corinthians, that because of their lack of repentance at the Lord’s Table, they were eating and drinking judgment to themselves. When we confess our sin, we must make every effort to put away that sin. Our Lord said, “if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.” We must be that determined.
David doesn’t trust himself. – Notice how he is against himself. He uses a personal pronoun 3 times. – “I have kept myself from my sin.” The intense personal nature he takes to his problem. Paul says of all believers, “Make no provision for the flesh.” – “We have no confidence in the flesh.”
The drive to be holy, must come from within. It must be motivated from our self. Our own will is engaged. – “God works in us to will…!” This is one of the fruits of salvation.
As we gather around the Lord’s Table, let us be again refreshed in the free and full forgiveness, God gives to all who trust in the blood of Christ. Let us also renew our commitment to be holy, and devoted to the Lord, and say with David, “I have kept myself from my sin.”