Nowhere to Hide

Nowhere to Hide

In the book of Joshua, we are told the of the fall of Jericho to the Israelites by the Lord’s hand. Joshua was given specific instructions they were to follow. These instructions included the following admonition:

And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. – Joshua 6:18 (NKJV)

The entire chapter of Joshua 7 is taken up with a story about a man named Achan who took the accursed things, then tried to hide them from the Lord. Naturally God knew that Achan took the accursed things, God knew exactly where Achan had put them, and God knew what was in Achan’s heart when he did these things. As a result of Achan’s act, the Israelites were defeated in their next campaign against the city of Ai.

When I was reading this chapter, I thought how silly it was of Achan to imagine he could hide anything from an all-seeing, all-knowing God. Then a flash of memory came to me of certain sins from my past which I had believed were hidden for a time. I seemed to believe that if no other human saw my action then it somehow didn’t “count.” It was only through the power of the Holy Spirit working in me that I realized I was only fooling myself – but certainly not God!

The Israelites rooted out the accursed things and went on to have victory over the city of Ai. In fact, God used their prior defeat as the path to that victory. I take heart from this. It makes me see that God can use my past mistakes as stepping stones to bring me into new successes. I just need to fully cooperate with Him as His Spirit works in me. What a great encouragement!