O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, do you it for your name's sake: for our backslidings are many…
I. WHAT IT IS FOR A MAN TO FIND HIS INIQUITIES TESTIFY AGAINST HIM IN HIS ADDRESSES TO GOD.
1. Sin is not dead when it is committed. The act is transient, but the guilt is of a permanent nature.
2. When the man draws near to God in the exercise of His worship, sin meets him there; appears to him as a terrible ghost (Isaiah 59:11-13).
3. Sin testifies two things for God against the man.
(1) Their unworthiness of any favour from the Lord.
(2) Their liableness to punishment, yea, to a curse instead of a blessing, so that the soul is often made to fear some remarkable judgment.
4. This witness is convincing. So, in the text, we find the panel denies not the testimony, but pleads for mercy.
5. Upon this, the gracious soul is filled with holy shame and self-loathing.
6. He is damped, and his confidence before the Lord is marred as to any access to Him, or obtaining favour at His hand.
II. HOW COMES IT THAT SIN IS FOUND THUS TESTIFYING AGAINST MEN?
1. It flows from the nature of sin and guilt upon an enlightened conscience.
2. It is a punishment from the Lord for former backslidings and miscarriages.
3. God so orders it, that it may be a mean to humble them, and make them more watchful against sin for the time to come.
III. THE PLEA. "For Thy name's sake."
1. We must plead with Him for His Christ's sake; and when guilt stares us in the face, we must look to God through the veil of Christ's flesh.
2. We must plead with Him for His glory's sake. Punishing of sin glorifies God much, but pardoning of sin glorifies Him more.
(T. Boston, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name's sake: for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against thee.