The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. From Joshua 7
God had given the Isaelites a specific command. He had promised to help them destroy Jericho but He wanted them to give Him all the plunder. He specifically commanded them to not keep any of it but give all of it over to Him. One man, Achan, disobeyed this command and hid some of it under his tent. He then went about his day, thinking his sin wouldn’t effect anyone else. Later, when the Isaelites went to fight the next city, Ai, they were defeated and thirty six men were struck down on the slopes of a rock quarry. Then the whole community became terrified and disheartened. They went from feeling brave to terrified. Thirty six men lost their lives and a whole nation lost their courage because one man hid his sin.
I think in our culture, we see sin as personal…too personal. We have adopted this mindset that everyone has a right to do their own thing. We have believed the lie that what I do doesn’t affect anyone else. We think we can sleep around, get drunk, gossip, watch porn, lie to our husband… as long as it “isn’t hurting anyone else”.
But our sin always affects our community. It becomes like a cancer that slowly eats away at our heart and our relationships. When we hide sin, it destroys us. When we confess sin though, God has promised to forgive and restore us. I want to challenge us this week to own up to our sin. To ask God what He wants to remove from our tent and bring into the light. Let’s be a new kind of community. Let’s begin confessing our sin to each other. Let’s begin walking in forgiveness and healing and freedom like never before.
God, you know the sin I have hidden under my tent. You know how it is affecting my family and community. I choose to repent…I renounce it’s hold on me…I receive Your forgiveness and freedom.
Diving In is our online mid-week devotional. It jumps into the message from Sunday and takes us a little deeper. Take a moment to slow down from your busy day, and hear from the Holy Spirit. We re-post every week. You can follow along by clicking the +Follow button in the bottom-right corner of your screen. This week Diving In is written by Erika Thornton (Pastor Jonathan’s wife).