Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Trying to Hide our Sin?
Josh. 7:20 And Achan answered Joshua, “It is true; I am the one who sinned against the LORD God of Israel. This is what I did:
Josh. 7:21 when I saw among the spoil a beautiful mantle from Shinar, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, then I coveted them and took them. They now lie hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”
All of the Israelites were being punished and Joshua didn't know why. He laid down before God and began to plead with him when God revealed to him that they, as a people, had been unfaithful. God gave him a plan to discover where this unfaithfulness had begun and God led him to Achan. Achan had been tempted and given in to that temptation, taking items from the enemy. He had seen a beautiful robe and wanted it. So, he took it, along with silver, and a bar of gold. But, what was he to do with what he had taken? No one could know, so he dug a hole under his tent and just buried it all.
When you read this story it seems a little ridiculous. This man, Achan, put the entire community of Israel at risk because he saw a pretty robe and wanted it! The other ridiculous part of the story is that he could never have worn the robe because people would have known, so he had to hide it in a hole under his home.
Here again, we see the corporate nature of sin. We tend to individualize our actions, but the actions of Achan had put the entire community at risk. God would be faithful to them and make them victorious when they, as a collective whole, were faithful to him. When one person sinned, it meant that the entire community was not faithful. How often do we simply turn a blind eye to the sins of those around us and how they may be affecting the world as a whole. We, as followers of Christ are not simply responsible for our own personal sins, but also the systemic sins which we have allowed to exist because we have not dealt with the root issues. Joshua could not turn a blind eye to this man's sins, for they were bringing down havoc on the entire nation.
We also see the petty nature of sin. Sin is all about selfishness, and a selfishness that often doesn't even make sense. This man wanted these items so badly that he was willing to risk the lives of all of his neighbors -- just for stuff. Then, when he got the stuff, there was no way he could enjoy it. How much joy is there in burying your stuff in a hole in the ground? So, while this seems incredibly ridiculous my mind goes to all the storage lockers in America which are filled with "stuff." On a whole different level, we have become a society of "stuff." We collect "stuff" that we don't even need and have so much of it that we can't even enjoy it. We have to have storage bins in which we store the "stuff" that we don't ever go through or use. We don't share it with others, and we use credit cards to get ourselves further into debt so that we can just get more "stuff."
What kind of a systemic sin is our love of "stuff." The United States (and other nations as well) have borrowed themselves into massive debt to have stuff. What began on a personal level has reached to societal proportions. Maybe the answer to this is to begin on a personal level -- one person at a time, searching their homes, searching their storage units, and asking God what have we coveted to the point that we have over extended ourselves and are now just hiding the "stuff" for we have too much.
What are we doing with our sin? Do we believe that it affects no one but ourselves? Are we trying to hide it? Be sure there are consequences, and they reach beyond ourselves.
Lord, search me, search my heart, search my stuff, and help me live a lifestyle which is pleasing to you. Amen.