If you’re into hiding your sin, the Bible says you’re either a horse or a mule, and neither one is meant as a compliment…
Psalm 32:9 – “Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
When it comes to sin, are you a horse or a mule? Let me explain…
Let’s start with the horses…
Horses love to run. That’s one thing they do very well. In fact, people bet a lot of money that their horse can outrun your horse in a race.
When it comes to sin, some people are like horses because they just want to run with it. They know it’s wrong, but it’s also fun, so they indulge. They’re the people Paul writes about in Ephesians who have lost all sensitivity and have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more (Eph 4:19). They’re having a blast with their sin, and since the consequences haven’t hit yet, there’s no need to stop now…that’s what they believe, anyway.
Now on to the mules…
When it comes to sin, if you’re not a horse, you’re probably a mule. You’ve known your sin is wrong all along, and it’s not that you lead a flamboyantly sinful life, but you’re just too stubborn to admit that you were wrong. Plus, just like a mule, not only are you stubborn, but you’re carrying a big load – your guilt.
You can be a horse AND a mule.
The Bible talks about a few guys who were both. One guy who comes to mind is a guy who stole another man’s wife, got her pregnant, then had her husband killed to cover it all up. You know him as “the man after God’s own heart” and the author of Psalm 32: DAVID! The Bathsheba thing was his run as a horse, then he turned into a mule. The baby was born, the deed was done, and David moved on with life and his new wife. He was stubborn (and stupid) enough to think that he could get away with it. He was wrong. The prophet Nathan proved him wrong in 2 Samuel 12.
What horses and mules have in common.
Both animals, as wild and stubborn as they can be, must be trained and forced into submission. The day comes where the bit and bridle are introduced and the reins are pulled. That day came for David eventually, and it was extremely painful. In fact, he lost his child because of his sin.
However, his pain gave birth to Psalm 51 and Psalm 32 – 2 beautiful penitential Psalms where he weeps over his past lifestyle of unconfessed sin. He regrets those years and implores us not to follow his bad example.
Which one are you – horse or mule?