Joshua 7:20-21 And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done:
21When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.
Last week the spring cleaning bug finally bit me. If some of my friend’s Facebook pages are any indication, then the bug bit me a little later than everyone else this year, but at least it bit me. I think he missed me last spring. But you know the bug has bit you, because you wake up that morning feeling a little on the manic side, and you have grand visions of what your house is going to look like when you’re done.
As is my custom, I immediately tore into the worst spot of the entire house. The place we like to call “The Hidey Hole.” Now when we moved into this house I was thrilled that in the back of the house, attached to my daughter’s room was an extra little room. An entire spare room with a closet! I had just moved out of a 900 square foot house with little closet space. This was a luxury to me. But this “entire extra room” has become a horrible little burr in my brain. Its existence sort of hangs over my mind all day, haunting me. Because here is the thing about having an “extra room” that did not have any official use in my home: it became my “Hidey Hole”, a gross little catch all spot where I just started stuffing things. It had gotten so bad that you could no longer see the floor. The pile of stuff just started at the door way and sloped upwards.
As I dug through the yuck, I began thinking about “Hidey Holes” in our lives spiritually. Dark little rooms where we stuff things hoping no one opens that door. Like Achan, frantically digging his hole in his tent to stuff in his stolen goods, how often do we slip away to our hidey holes to hide away our sins?
Usually when we think of “sneakiness” or hiding things our minds instantly go to “big” sins, like adultery, fornication, stealing. But our hidey holes can fill up just as easily with bitterness, anger, discontentment, gossip, jealousy. In fact they fill up much faster with these things because these are the sneaky sins the devil most often tempts established “Christians” towards. These are the sins of “moral” people. Let’s look a little closer at Achan’s hidey hole in hopes of shedding some light on our own.
- Achan justified the stolen items by thinking they would be “good” for him. “When I saw among the spoils a GOODLY Babylonish garment.” Humans are very creative at coming up with ways to justify sin, no matter how wicked we can always put a positive twist on it in the beginning.
- Achan’s sin affected all the people of God around him. Joshua 7:1 “But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.” God’s anger was kindled at all the children of Israel because of what one man did! Never ever think the sins in your hidey hole are just “your business.” You are part of the family of God and hopefully a member of a New Testament church and each Christian affects his church. Your sins are not your own, they will reach out and affect others.
- Achan’s sin was a hindrance to his pastor. V6 “And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads.” Even before Joshua knew what had happened, he knew something was wrong. True men of God know when things are amiss in their congregation. Our sin can be an unnecessary burden on our already burdened spiritual leaders.
- Achan’s “secret” sin came out in a very public way. V20 “And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done.” Take a moment to truly imagine the possible ending consequences of your hidden sins. What type of embarrassment or pain will it cause for you and for others?
- If he had cleaned out his own hidey hole and repented, the leaders of Israel wouldn’t have had to do it for him. V 22-23 “So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD.” There is few things as sweet as timely repentance; knowing in your heart that you’ve made things right BEFORE the Lord had to begin chastising you.
- Achan and his family died because of his sins. V24-25 “And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.” If sin remains in your hidey hole long enough it can affect the spirituality of your family, especially your children. How sad if our children are spiritually “stoned” because of hidden sin that we refuse to confess and repent of.
It is a sweet feeling to get a room like mine all cleaned out and organized. Once my hidey hole was all tidied up, and I got rid of many garbage bags full of junk, I just sat back with a cup of coffee and relaxed, knowing it would not bother my mind any longer. And isn’t that the feeling, times a hundred, when we repent and let the Lord tidy up our hidey holes, throw open the windows and let the spring breezes blow through our spirit? Open up those windows this morning and see if you need to do some spring cleaning of the soul.