Psalm 19:13 - Presumptuous, Willful, Deliberate Sin

Psa 19:13 (KJV)  Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous
sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and
I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

Psa 19:13 (NIV)  Keep your servant also from willful sins; may
they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great

Psa 19:13 (NAB)  But from willful sins keep your servant; let
them never control me. Then shall I be blameless, innocent of grave

Psa 19:13 (NJB)  And from pride preserve your servant, never let
it be my master. So shall I be above reproach, free from grave

Psa 19:13 (NLT)  Keep me from deliberate sins! Don't let them
control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.

Psa 19:13 (CWB)  Keep me from willfully sinning against you,
Lord. Only when you control my life can I be free from the power of
sin and be considered innocent.

Those sins done knowingly and deliberately. [New Bible Companion]

These are the sins committed when we know that we are doing
wrong. [SDA Commentary]

PRIDE Undue confidence in and attention to one's own skills,
accomplishments, state, possessions, or position..... Many
biblical words describe
this concept, each with its own emphasis. Some of the synonyms for
pride include arrogance, presumption, conceit, self-satisfaction,
boasting, and high-mindedness. It is the opposite of humility, the proper
attitude one should have in relation to God. Pride is rebellion against
God because it attributes to self the honor and glory due to God
alone. Proud persons do not think it necessary to ask forgiveness
because they do not admit their sinful condition. This attitude toward
God finds expression in one's attitude toward others, often causing
people to have a low estimate of the ability and worth of others and
therefore to treat them with either contempt or cruelty. Some have
considered pride to be the root and essence of sin. Others consider it to
be sin in its final form. Gerald Cowen [Holman's Bible Dictionary]

Having prayed that his sins of infirmity might be pardoned, he
(David) prays that presumptuous sins might be prevented, v. 13.... the
great transgression;" so he calls a presumptuous sin, because no
sacrifice was accepted for it, <Num. 15:28-30>.... Presumptuous sins are
very heinous and dangerous. those that sin against the habitual
convictions and actual admonitions of their consciences, in contempt and
defiance of the law and its sanctions, that sin with a high hand, sin
presumptuously, and it is a great transgression.... We have 
great need to pray to
God, when we are pushing forward towards a presumptuous sin. (Matthew
Henry's Commentary)

Sins committed not through frailty or surprise, but those which
are the offspring of thought, purpose, and deliberation. Sins
against judgment, light, and conscience.... Let me never be brought into a
habit of sinning. He who sins presumptuously will soon be hardened
through the deceitfulness of sin....  the great transgression-- (Adam
Clarke Commentary)

He does not say, Cleanse me from presumptuous sins, but keep me
back from them. These were not sins to which he was readily prone,
but he felt that the "errors" and "secret faults," if not checked
and `cleansed, ' would lead on to the "presumptuous" or deliberate
sins, from which he therefore prays to be `kept back. '... "great
transgression" is the climax of the "presumptuous sins" <Ps.
19:13> [pesha`
(heb 6588)]-- namely, entire falling away from God; `rebellion' (as
the Hebrew is translated, <Job 34:37>), apostasy. (Jamieson,
Fausset, and Brown Commentary)

He prayed that he would be forgiven for hidden faults and
preserved from sinning willfully. For sins committed in ignorance, the Law
provided atonement; but for willful sins, sins committed with a high
hand, there was no ceremonial prescription, though forgiveness was
still available if the person repented and confessed (cf. Ps. 51).
[Bible Knowledge Commentary]

David asks not only to be cleansed of secret faults, but to be
restrained from running head-long into open sin. "Watch and pray, that you
enter not into temptation." This kind of wicked abandonment to sin
leads to slavery, and sin becomes the master of the life. Romans 6
tells us that sin should not have dominion over us. Of course, it is
by allowing the Word of God to control our lives that we get
victory over sin. By "great transgression" in v. 13, the psalmist seems
to mean a "sin unto death" or a repeated rebellion against God that
brings forth His wrath. [Wiersbe Expository Outlines]

The prevailing thought is that of pride, and the reference is
particularly to sins which proceed from self-confidence; from reliance on
one's own strength. The word does not mean open sins, or flagrant
sins, so much as those which spring from self-reliance or pride. The
prayer is substantially that he might have a proper distrust of
himself, and might not be left by an improper reliance on his own power
to the commission of sin.... Let me not become the slave of sin; so
subject to it that it shall domineer over me. (Barnes' Notes)

Such was the prayer of the "man after God's own heart." Did holy
David need to pray thus? How needful, then, must such a prayer be for
us babes in grace! It is as if he said, "Keep me back, or I shall
rush headlong over the precipice of sin." Our evil nature, like an
ill-tempered horse, is apt to run away. May the grace of God put the bridle
upon it, and hold it in, that it rush not into mischief. What might
not the best of us do if it were not for the checks which the Lord
sets upon us both in providence and in grace! The psalmist's prayer
is directed against the worst form of sin--that which is done with
deliberation and wilfulness. Even the holiest need to be "kept back" from the
vilest transgressions. It is a solemn thing to find the apostle Paul
warning saints against the most loathsome sins. "Mortify therefore your
members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate
affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry." What!
do saints want warning against such sins as these? Yes, they do.
The whitest robes, unless their purity be preserved by divine grace,
will be defiled by the blackest spots. Experienced Christian, boast
not in your experience; you will trip yet if you look away from him
who is able to keep you from falling. Ye whose love is fervent,
whose faith is constant, whose hopes are bright, say not, "We shall
never sin," but rather cry, "Lead us not into temptation." There is
enough tinder in the heart of the best of men to light a fire that
shall burn to the lowest hell, unless God shall quench the sparks as
they fall. Who would have dreamed that righteous Lot could be found
drunken, and committing uncleanness? Hazael said, "Is thy servant a dog,
that he should do this thing?" and we are very apt to use the same
self-righteous question. May infinite wisdom cure us of the madness of
self-confidence. Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening,

When you rise in the morning, do you feel your helplessness and
your need of strength from God? and do you humbly, heartily make
known your wants to your heavenly Father? If so, angels mark your
prayers, and if these prayers have not gone forth out of feigned lips,
when you are in danger of unconsciously doing wrong and exerting an
influence which will lead others to do wrong, your guardian angel will be
by your side, prompting you to a better course, choosing your words
for you, and influencing your actions.
If you feel in no danger, and if you offer no prayer for help
and strength to resist temptations, you will be sure to go astray;
your neglect of duty will be marked in the book of God in heaven, and
you will be found wanting in the trying day.  3T363,4

When the light is received and acted upon, you will be crucified
to sin, being dead indeed unto the world, but alive to God. Your
idols will be abandoned, and your example will be on the side of
self-denial rather than that of self-indulgence. 5T435,6

Satan is ever at work to keep out of our minds the doctrine of
the cross of Christ; for this is the counter-influence through which
sin is to be vanquished and man be brought back to his allegiance to
the law of God. RH09-29-91

We are to influence one another for good, keeping the Lord ever
before us, RH09-29-91

The prayer of v. 14 ought to be on our lips and in our hearts
all day long. The meditation of the heart controls the words of the
mouth (Mark 7:14-23). The word "meditation" here has the image of a
musician plucking the strings of a harp. Who controls the music of your
heart, God or Satan? Meditation is to the heart what digestion is to
the body; it is the taking in of the Word of God and making it a
part of the inner being. As the heart and mind think on the Word all
day long, the Spirit guides the life. This is what it means to walk
in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16) and to have the spiritual mind (Rom.
8:1-8).... ask God to enable you to love the Word, live in it, and obey
it--and He will bless you. [Wiersbe Expository Outlines]


God did not create evil, He only made the good, which was like
Himself. But Satan would not be content to know the will of God and do
it. His curiosity was on the stretch to know that which God had not
designed he should know. Evil, sin, and death were not created by God;
they are the result of disobedience, which originated in Satan. But
the knowledge of evil now in the world was brought in through the
cunning of Satan. These are very hard and expensive lessons; but men
will learn them, and many will never be convinced that it is bliss to
be ignorant of a certain kind of knowledge, which arises from
unsatisfied desires and unholy aims. The sons and daughters of Adam are
fully as inquisitive and presumptuous as was Eve in seeking forbidden
knowledge. They gain an experience, a knowledge, which God never designed
they should have, and the result will be, as it was to our first
parents, the loss of their Eden home. When will human beings learn that
which is demonstrated so thoroughly before them? 5T503,4

There is a spurious knowledge, the knowledge of evil and sin,
which has been brought into the world by the cunning of Satan. The
pursuit of this knowledge is prompted by unsanctified desires, unholy
aims. Its lessons are dearly bought, but many will not be convinced
that they are better left unlearned. The sons and daughters of Adam
are fully as inquisitive and presumptuous as was Eve. They venture,
contrary to the will of God, to gain knowledge which results, as did
Eve's, in the loss of Eden. 20MR40


Provoked by the unbelief of the children of Israel, Moses
uttered a hasty, presumptuous speech; and the Lord told him that he had
dishonored His name, and that he could not lead the children of Israel into
the promised land. Moses repented, and the Lord forgive him;
nevertheless, he must bear his punishment. My brother, the Lord would have you
learn from Moses' experience... BCL63


But their (Eli's sons) sins were so interwoven with their
ministration as priests of the Most High, in offering sacrifice for sin, the
work of God was so profaned and dishonored before the people, that no
expiation could be accepted for them. Their own father, though himself
high priest, dared not make intercession in their behalf; he could
not shield them from the wrath of a holy God. Of all sinners, those
are most guilty who cast contempt upon the means that Heaven has
provided for man's redemption--who "crucify to themselves the Son of God
afresh, and put Him to an open shame." Hebrews 6:6. PP580

Here it appears that Eli's sons had allowed sinful ways to
become a part of their everyday life and had even perhaps committed the
unpardonable sin.


Because of Saul's sin in his presumptuous offering, the Lord
would not give him the honor of vanquishing the Philistines. Jonathan,
the king's son, a man who feared the Lord, was chosen as the
instrument to deliver Israel. PP623


Balaam "loved the wages of unrighteousness." 2 Peter 2:15. The
sin of covetousness, which God declares to be idolatry, had made him
a timeserver, and through this one fault Satan gained entire
control of him. It was this that caused his ruin. The tempter is ever
presenting worldly gain and honor to entice men from the service of God. He
tells them it is their overconscientiousness that keeps them from
prosperity. Thus many are induced to venture out of the path of strict
integrity. One wrong step makes the next easier, and they become more and
more presumptuous. They will do and dare most terrible things when
once they have given themselves to the control of avarice and a
desire for power. Many flatter themselves that they can depart from
strict integrity for a time, for the sake of some worldly advantage,
and that having gained their object, they can change their course
when they please. Such are entangling themselves in the snare of
Satan, and it is seldom that they escape. PP439-440


The sin that resulted so disastrously to Uzziah was one of
presumption. In violation of a plain command of Jehovah, that none but the
descendants of Aaron should officiate as priests, the king entered the
sanctuary "to burn incense upon the altar.".... Uzziah remained a leper--a
living example of the folly of departing from a plain "Thus saith the
Lord." Neither his exalted position nor his long life of service could
be pleaded as an excuse for the presumptuous sin by which he marred
the closing years of his reign, and brought upon himself the
judgment of Heaven. PK304


The commission of any known sin, the neglect of the duties of
life at home or abroad, will destroy faith and disconnect the soul
from God. Sin is a heinous and offensive thing. It is highly
offensive to God. There is a sad history in the life of Peter, which
should be a lesson to all. He had been warned by his Master of
approaching danger, but, self-confident and presumptuous, he affirmed a
constant fidelity and zeal superior to the other disciples and declared
himself willing to follow his Master to prison and to death. The test
came for Peter when the storm of opposition came upon the followers
in the humiliation of their Master. Mournful words traced by the
pen of inspiration, "They all forsook Him and fled." And Peter, the
ardent, self-confident, zealous Peter, repeatedly denied his Lord. He
afterwards bitterly repented, but this example should admonish all to
beware of self-confidence and self-righteousness. 12MR289


The magician trembled with fear as his sin was presented before
him in this vivid manner. He began to perceive his own wicked
audacity, and entreated Peter to pray that the wrath of God might not come
upon him for his presumptuous sin. Peter had, with startling force,
shown Simon that he was yet untouched by the grace of God; for if his
mind had been thus enlightened, he would have known that the sacred
power of the Holy Spirit could not be bought or sold for money.
Christ, at the infinite price of himself, had obtained for his people
the power of the Holy Spirit, to be given only to his chosen
instruments, whose lives must be free from selfishness and sin. 3SP303

Here we see that presumptuous willful sin may not be seen as
wrong by the perpetrator.  It suggests that presumptuous willful sin
can be any behavior that stems from selfish pride and not Spirit