Are there any hidden sins?
Can anything be hidden from God?
How does He take care of hidden sins?
|This story happened right after the crossing of Jordan. God had just brought the children of Israel over the Jordan river into the promised land. They had just had a great victory at Jericho. In fact, all they had to do was march around that big wicked city and shout. The angels of God pushed the walls over at the very second of the shout. The treasures of all the people in that city were to be used in the tabernacle. Gold and silver was for God's house.|
|Stealing treasure was a big temptation. These people had been camping in tents for over forty years with no chance to go shopping. They had very little. Their parents had been very poor and were slaves in Egypt. God was testing their obedience and their ability to show heaven that they knew the victory over Jericho was not their own victory. The custom in those days was that the one who had won the battle, got the treasures. By obeying it showed everyone in the world God had really won the battle.|
|All the treasures in the world belong to God. He gives people the power to earn money and to manage it. He is the owner of this world. He expects us to obey. He only asks one tenth in return to show we believe He is the owner. Malachi 3:9-12. If we obey, then He will open the windows of heaven and pour so many blessings out that there won't be room to put all of it. That is a good deal! He is a generous partner of our business. We are to give only one tenth to Him to show we know He is the owner and our business partner.|
|In our story, there was a man by the name of Achan who took some gold and silver and some nice looking clothes for himself from Jericho. He knew it was wrong because he dug a hole under the middle of his tent and buried these treasures.|
|The next city the Israelites went to conquer, they lost the battle and several were killed. Their leader Joshua fell on his face before God. In agony of heart he asked God why God had not gone with them into this battle like He had for Jericho. The Lord told Joshua about the hidden sin. Then an amazing thing happened. The Lord told Joshua some very interesting steps to follow in order to get Achan to tell about his hidden sin. God knew all the people listening would blame Joshua for being cruel and mean for accusing Achan of something he did not do. They would even blame Joshua for losing the battle.|
|Joshua knew the secret but had to pretend he did not know who among a million people had broken God's law.|
| The plan was to get Achan to tell on
himself. God knew Achan's heart. God could see that Achan had done this
same thing many many times. He was a thief. Everyone else looked on the
outside of Achan. They thought this man was a good person who would never
do anything wrong.
I Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for [the LORD seeth] not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
|Joshua was instructed to cast lots in
front of over a million Israelites. They went by tribes and found
the tribe Achan was in. It was the tribe of Judah. This should have made
Achan realize God knew his hidden sin. He should have walked forward and
declared his sin. But because he was not sorry, he was still hiding.
Then Joshua cast lots to see which family this terrible hidden sin was in. The family Zabdi, that Achan lived in was selected. Still here was another chance God gave to Achan to tell on himself but he was not sorry. He was still hiding his sin.
Finally as the lots were cast over his own family, Achan's name was called. Even the kind way Joshua spoke to him showed God's love.
|Joshua 7:18 And he brought his household man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.
7:19 And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide [it] not from me.
7:20 And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done:
7:21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they [are] hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.
Even after many people died in battle because of his sin, he still thought his treasures were great. He said the garment was good. He told just how the treasures were lined up in his tent floor. You can tell from his own mouth he was not sorry. The million people watching and listening could tell his heart was still a thief. All could tell he did not want to be anything but a thief. He could have asked forgiveness and for God to save him. He could have called the garment a rotten disgusting thing.
|You see, Joshua knew all the time who did it. God had told him. Joshua was to show the people that God knows everything. Because this bad problem was handled in this manner, no one had sympathy for the man who kept hiding. From his own mouth Achan told his own sin. Then people were sent to look inside the tent.|
| The punishment for the sin showed that
God saw who still had sympathy for Achan. In the hearts of those who had
sympathy was the same sin that Achan had. He had contaminated his whole
family. His wife, his children, still loved Achan and loved to sin just
like he did.
I wish I knew about Achan's wife. Could she have urged Achan to declare his sin? Could his own children have also turned Achan by begging him to confess his sin before it was too late? I think the answer comes from the way Joshua acted. He fell on his face before God when he found out they lost the battle because of sin in the camp. When he prayed, God told him what the problem was. He did not know the problem before he decided to pray. Achan's wife could have done that. Achan's children could have done that. Perhaps if they had, Achan would have
we know of a hidden sin in our family, let us get on our knees and pray
for God to help us know what to do. It may take something you never
thought of to turn the sinner to God. It is especially difficult if the
sin is a hidden one that no one else knows. If the person is like Achan
and the church people think he is so godly that he would never do any
wrong, it can cause others to sin too.. There are others who will follow
their example and influence and will be led to hide their sins too.
This story shows us that it is a tricky thing to bring a hidden thing out in the open. It takes much prayer to do it the right way. Many think the best way is to tell everyone the sin. Jesus shows us another way that works better. He did this same method on Judas the betrayer.
|The wages of sin is death. But the gift
of God is eternal life. Achan did not want to get rid of sin. He kept it
hidden. The final punishment was death. That is the final punishment for
all who would rather sin than live God's way of love.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Achan was stoned along with his family and things. Then they were burned, then they were buried again under a huge pile of rocks. God directed this only after it was proved that Achan had no desire to stop being a thief. God will punish sin. He hopes the sinner will come and confess his sins before it is too late.
|Many are Achans. They hide their sins of
lust. They hide the fact that they like to look at sinful movies, and
waste time playing games. They think no one will know about the hidden
book that has pictures of people without clothes on. They keep God's
tithe. The tithe money He said was for His gospel work. No one may ever
know about it. But God in heaven sees everything. He is really good at
math. He knows also what everyone is thinking. If you make a mistake in
your math but you are trying to return an honest tithe, He accepts that as
obedience. But if you refuse to tithe on your increase, you are acting
like Achan. My dear friends, God is waiting for all the hidden things to
be declared so He can forgive. We are in the very end of time. The door of
mercy is about to close. Now is the time to tell Jesus everything and ask
Him to come in and clean the heart.
In Luke 18:13, the sinner prayed: "God be merciful to me a sinner." Just pray: "Oh God, I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus was my substitute when He died on the Cross. I believe His shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection were for me. I now receive Him as my Savior. I thank You for the forgiveness of my sins, the gift of salvation and everlasting life, because of Your merciful grace. Amen."
If this is your heart's desire and you want to know more about asking Jesus into your heart, go to "Will Jesus Accept me?" and pray the sinner's prayer.