(A Small Takeaway From Joshua Chapter 7)
As we continue to study Joshua chapter 7, we will be reminded of the public exposure of the sin of Achan and the resulting punishment he brought upon himself and his family. His sin, thought to have been done in secret, caused his death and the death of his entire family. And while there is much for us to glean and learn from these verses, there is one area that I had initially overlooked. Frankly, I had not even given it any thought. Then as I was looking more deeply into the chapter, I found a quote from John Calvin. And I started to sweat.
The quote from John Calvin (found later in this article) has made me realize once again that I can’t count the ways in which the Lord has been so very gracious in my life (and of course, in the lives of all of His children). But now I have had my eyes opened to another huge way in which He has shown more grace to me in my life: By keeping many of my sins to Himself. And perhaps as you think on this, you may find yourself thinking in a similar fashion. I think it is safe to say, that had He, in His providence, decided to expose only one or two of our sins, many of us might today be ruined .
As you continue down this blog, and read the quote from Calvin, may the truthfulness of his comments help to keep all of us from sinning, for should our sins be exposed to the world because the Lord thought it best in His economy to do so, where could we hide? Think about relationships crumbling and friendships retreating. Think about families being ruined and honor being destroyed. Think about words that would completely devastate people and actions that would shatter lives, even your very own. Think about your testimony and the possible ruination of your witness. I cringe when I think about it.
Drawing this back to Achan’s deserved punishment, perhaps it would be better to lose physical life on earth than to have our sins exposed for all to see. But the Lord has provided me (and you) a “City of Refuge” where for now, we are safe from the embarrassing exposure of a public knowledge of our sins against our holy God. That “City of Refuge” is known by another more familiar name: Grace. It is a land of grace, provided by the Lord. A city filled with others just like you and me.
And all of us that are presently found in this grace-land are hoping and praying that this “grace-city” would remain – that He will continue to keep us safe, and our sin hidden from the rest of the world, 1 – until we are all called home. And by His mercy, we ask, may He continue to deem it so.
Here is the quote:
“Though God does not bring all guilty actions to light at the very moment, nor always employ the casting of lots for this purpose, He has taught us by this example that there is nothing so hidden as not to be revealed in its own time. The form of disclosure will, indeed, be different; but let every one reflect, for himself, that things which escape the knowledge of the whole world are not concealed from God, and that to make them public depends only on His pleasure [emphasis mine]. For though a sin may seem as it were to have fallen asleep, it is however awake before the door, and will beset the miserable man till it overtake and crush him.” John Calvin
May we cry out, “Lord have mercy on me. Lord have mercy on us; even His own blood-bought children.”
And may we never twist the incredible grace of our Lord and think that His grace, which is always greater than our sin, gives us license to transgress against Him because we know we will be forgiven. (May the Holy Spirit convict each of us otherwise!). Instead, may our desire to lift His name above all else, give us purpose and determination to go through our days following His commandments and walking in the light as He is in the light, such that His glory is being revealed day by day in and through our lives.
After all, as His children, that is our only purpose until He takes us home. To God be the glory!
- We must remember, I am not speaking of our forgiveness in and through the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary. That is done! For those whom He has chosen, He has taken our punishment, He has imputed the righteousness of His Son onto us, He has transformed us, justified us, sanctified us, and and we are His forever! Praise be to His Name!