March 7, 2022 • By Ed Wrather
Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
And I shall be innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. – Psalm 19:12-14 NKJV.
American Airlines Flight 4817 was forced to make an emergency landing in New York City’s LaGuardia airport at about 3pm on a Saturday afternoon. An alert woman passenger noticed a fellow passenger scrolling through photos and videos of some type of a device. He then pulled out an odd-looking device and appeared to be setting a timer. The alert passenger alerted a flight attendant to the possibility of a bomb being onboard and the pilot decided to make the emergency landing.
The bomber was escorted off the plane, placed face down on the tarmac, searched, and then interrogated for several hours until the truth was revealed. The truth was the man was an antique camera enthusiast! On the plane he had been looking at videos and photos of antique cameras and when his luggage was searched, they found… antique cameras! I don’t know what happened at that point. Did they offer the man an apology? Did the airline reimburse him somehow? What happened with the woman who reported the man to the flight attendant? (PetaPixel 10.11.21; MSM 10.11.21; Inside Edition 10.11.21)
We all make sinful mistakes (Romans 3:23), and we also make unintentional mistakes like the woman who reported the antique camera enthusiast as being a bomb maker. Then there are mistakes and sins that we are unaware that we are committing. I certainly have made my share of mistakes and likely many that I am not even aware that I have committed. While I was a parole officer, I once raided a client’s home and seized a plant that I believed was a marijuana plant. It certainly looked like a marijuana plant, but it wasn’t. Embarrassing! And I did apologize.
Another mistake that I remember well during that time in my life was when visiting a young woman with a baby that had just been placed on my caseload. It appeared that the baby had been abused with bruises all over its body. I contacted the Department of Human Services and took a social worker experienced with these situations back to the woman’s home. We thought the baby would have to be taken into DHS custody. However, I was mistaken as what appeared to be bruises was an unfortunate congenital condition. Embarrassing! And I did apologize.
Governments can also make mistakes. It looks like a horrific mistake that Putin has made invading a peaceful country. It looks like the United States and European countries have made a mistake depending upon Russia for oil and natural gas.
The United States has enough oil and natural gas for more than a hundred years. However, it looks like the government of the United States has made a mistake in imposing so many regulations that this country is no longer energy independent and unable to export natural gas to Europe which now needs it to replace Russian gas.
Almost unbelievable is the mistake the United States is making in continuing to buy Russian oil which results in funding the Russian attack on Ukraine. Will these governments admit their mistakes? Possibly, but it is taking far too much time for them to decide to do that and change course while innocent civilians are being murdered by the Russians. But, I digress.
King David says, “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.” David is talking about those errors, mistakes, sins that we commit unknowingly. David wants to stand before his God without fault because he is the man after God’s own heart. David knows that God knows everything and sees everything in his life and our lives.
I like the way that the Message puts this verse: “There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger and directs us to hidden treasure. Otherwise how will we find our way? Or know when we play the fool? Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh! Keep me from stupid sins, from thinking I can take over your work; Then I can start this day sun-washed, scrubbed clean of the grime of sin. These are the words in my mouth; these are what I chew on and pray. Accept them when I place them on the morning altar, O God, my Altar-Rock, God, Priest-of-My-Altar.”