Secrets

Ezekiel 8:8-9
“Then He said to me,’Son of man, dig into the wall’; and when I dug into the wall, there was a door. And He said to me, ‘Go in, and see the wicked abominations which they are doing there.’”

Some of the imagery of the Bible is designed to get the attention of the reader. This passage certainly does that. Ezekiel explains, while he was sitting in his living room surrounded by the elders of Israel, he was suddenly lifted out of his chair by his hair, and transported hundreds of miles away to the city of Jerusalem. There he was shown a series of scenes that exposed the wickedness of the people, and in particular the leaders. One of those scenes took him to the the Temple where he dug a hole in the wall, found a hidden door, opened it up, and exposed the hidden sins of those who were supposed to be the spiritual leaders of the nation.

This passage has been preserved for us for two primary reasons. First, it gives insight into the real cause of the fall of Judah. The nation was defeated by their enemies, not because of military weakness, but because they had departed from the ways of God. This is true on every level. A person, church, or nation who turns its back on God, will find they no longer have the ability to stand, and will soon be defeated.

The second is much more personal. This passage illustrates the fact that God sees into the hidden chambers of the heart of every man. No sin is really committed in secret. Everything we do is done in the open before the eyes of God. Think about any secret sin you might be practicing, and think about doing it on a stage in a room filled with people. In reality, our sins are performed in the very sight of God. It is as if we have ushered everyone else out of the room, set up a private stage, and performed our secret sins for an audience of God. The writer of Hebrews put it this way,

Hebrews 4:12-13

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”

Notice the final line in that statement, “all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Every action we perform, no matter how careful we might be, is done openly in the sight of God. As frightening as that may be, the verse before it gives us the solution. We are told of the ability of the word of God to act like a sword that cuts into our lives and makes the appropriate changes.

Instead of hiding sin in a secret chamber of your heart, take the time to confess your sins to God, receive the forgiveness He offers, and look into His word for help and strength to put those things behind you.

Proverbs 28:13

“He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”

Pastor Jim

 

Secret

1 Chronicles 2:7
“The son of Carmi was Achar, the troubler of Israel, who transgressed in the accursed thing.”

Since the opening chapters of 1 Chronicles are designed to give us an accurate genealogical account of Israel, very little commentary is given. When that pattern is broken, our attention should be grabbed. In the case of Achar, we find a brief reference to his story alongside his name. Achar, or Achan, lived during the conquest of Canaan. He was among those men who followed Joshua across the Jordan, into the promised land. His situation gave him opportunity to be heroic, until greed got a hold of him.

Achan’s story is recoded in Joshua 7, and goes something like this. After Israel’s victory over Jericho, Joshua explained that all the spoils of war belonged to the Lord, and forbade the people from taking anything. Achan however, saw a beautiful garment and a handful of precious coins, and ignoring the word of God, he took them to his tent. Because these things were forbidden, he had to hide them from his friends and neighbors. It was not until God shed light on the situation, that anyone knew of Achan’s sin. The story ends with his sin costing him, the nation, and his family dearly.

His story reminds us of several things. First, we must allow the word of God, not our own desires, to determine what is good and bad, or right and wrong. Second, a little personal sin can have a very big impact upon ourself and others. Third, there are no actual secret sins; all things are done openly before the Lord. and if we do not expose them to ourselves and make the appropriate changes, God will reveal them. For the sake of the whole congregation of Israel, God took a strong stance against Achan’s behavior. It is not that He did not love Achan or his family, but that this one man’s action were weakening the entire nation.

There are many things worth being remembered for, but giving into personal lust and negatively impacting your family, friends, and church, are not one of them. If you are struggling with a secret sin, take the time to make it known. You do not have to publish it for all to read. However, the Bible tells us to first confess it to God, then to confess it to a trustworthy fellow Christian, who will pray for you and keep you accountable. Achan could have saved his life, and that of his family, had he only confessed his sin.

Pastor Jim