Many years ago when McKenna was 14, she called me to ask if she could go do something with a friend. As I was going through the list of common parenting questions and rules, I stopped and said, “Don’t you roll your eyes at me, McKenna,” to which she instantly replied, “HOW DID YOU KNOW?!” She quickly told her friend what I had said. We got such a kick out of it, and I used that moment to remind her that parents know everything—there was nothing she could do that was wrong and get away with it! We still laugh about it to this day.
I thought about that story when I was reading my Bible this morning. I’m working through the book of Joshua with Table 8 (my California Bible study group). In chapter 7 we see that Achan has taken spoils of the battle in Jericho and has hidden them in his tent from Joshua, the other Israelites, and God. As a result, the initial advancement into the next city of Ai results in the defeat of the Israelites.
Joshua falls to his knees and asks God why He turned His back on his people and let them be defeated. God reveals that Israel sinned against Him by taking spoils of war when He explicitly told them to take nothing. He led Joshua through the process of determining who it was that sinned. Joshua 7:21 shows us that Achan admitted that he had coveted, taken, and concealed some things from the city.
The rest of the story is rich with great material to study, but let’s pause right there. The spoils of war were taken at the battle of Jericho, and Achan decided he could hide them. From God. I’m guessing his coveting of the objects was so great, that he forgot that God, the Creator of the world, knows everything. There isn’t anything that’s hidden from Him.
At first I thought, What a bonehead! But of course, conviction set in because you know who else does that? I do! There are areas in my life where I covet the things around me, where my speech isn’t seasoned with love and grace, or where my thoughts are not kind and generous. I blow those sins off as minor or simply try to forget them because “I’m human. Mistakes happen.” I might as well be trying to hide those sins from God.
But there are consequences for our sin. When we try to hide our sin, it creates a wedge between us and God. His heart is hurt for the disobedience of His child. It can start a slippery slope of leading us further from God and the path He has called us to.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” –1 John 1:9
We are called to repent of those sins so that He may forgive us and cleanse us.
Dear friends, I urge you to stop trying to hide your sins from God. I’m taking this week to really reflect on areas where I have tried to hide sin as Achan did and then repent of it to our Heavenly Father. He is eager to forgive. Will you join me?