When we have troubles, we want to pray about the trouble and ask God to deliver us, which is good because He is the one that “inclines to us and hears our cry” (v1). But in today’s verse, David starts his cry for help by telling the Lord about His sins.
That really challenges me. David sees his sin as more of a problem than the troubles. His trouble has revealed to him how big his sin is. Look at what he says: “my iniquities have overtaken me… they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me.”
The Bible doesn’t link individual troubles to individual sin. We can’t say that “this trouble is happening because I’m being punished for this sin.” However, trouble can be the consequence of sins. Trouble also happens because we live in a fallen world. Troubles are used by God to awaken our need of Him and to draw us away from sin. The hymn writer says, “take away the love of sinning.” God uses troubles to do that.
So, while David isn’t saying that this trouble has come because of a particular sin, the trouble has awakened him to his sin and so he confesses his sin and how great it is before he asks for help with the trouble. That is because sin is a bigger problem than trouble. Sin separates from God.
Praise the Lord that everyone who truly believes in the Lord Jesus is saved and their sins are forgiven. However, even though we are forgiven, our sins still grieve the Holy Spirit.
So it is the right way for us to pray – confess our sins first, then tell Him about our trouble.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).