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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“‘Get up! Command the people to purify themselves in preparation for tomorrow. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Hidden among you, O Israel, are things set apart for the Lord. You will never defeat your enemies until you remove these things from among you. ‘In the morning you must present yourselves by tribes, and the Lord will point out the tribe to which the guilty man belongs. That tribe must come forward with its clans, and the Lord will point out the guilty clan. That clan will then come forward, and the Lord will point out the guilty family. Finally, each member of the guilty family must come forward one by one. The one who has stolen what was set apart for destruction will himself be burned with fire, along with everything he has, for he has broken the covenant of the Lord and has done a horrible thing in Israel.’”—Joshua 7:13–15 (NLT)
Here’s the thing about secrets . . . they never stay hidden forever. Eventually, no matter how much you try, the truth will be revealed. Jesus Himself makes this clear to us in Luke 8:17 (NLT): “For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all” and in Luke 12:2 (NLT): “The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.”
In today’s passage, we see God instructing the people to consecrate themselves because the time for truth was coming. Achan’s sin had taken a devastating toll on the people, as sin always does. I’m sure Achan thought he had gotten away with it; no one knew what he had done. But the Lord tells us in Jeremiah 16:17 (NIV) that “My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes.”
And that’s the lesson I want you to see here, friends: God always sees it. He sees your indiscretions, your little disobediences, and rebellions. Nothing is hidden from Him. The disobedience of Adam and Eve wasn’t hidden from Him, nor was the murder of Abel, the irreprehensible saga of David, or the disobedience of Achan. No matter how well you cover it up, God sees.
So, here’s the question we all have to ponder: Is it better to continue to hide it or should you confess it? Consider these words in 1 John 1:9 (NLT): “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” Consider the raw honesty of David in Psalm 32:5 (NLT): “Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.”
Isn’t that beautiful, friends? You may experience momentary or even lasting consequences for your sins—as we rightfully should—but you’ll also experience His forgiveness. And in that moment, like David said, His forgiveness will wipe away your guilt and bring you peace, even in the consequences.
So, do you want to keep your secrets and live with guilt and shame, or do you want to confess to the Lord and be freed of that burden? It’s a choice we all have to make from time to time as believers. I pray we choose to end the cycle of sin through confession.
DIG: Why do people keep secrets? Why do we think secrets keep us safe?
DISCOVER: How have you seen this principle at work in your life or the life of someone you know?
DO: If you have any unconfessed secret sins, confess them to the Lord. Ask the Lord for His forgiveness in completely transparency and sincerity and you will receive it and feel it.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.