I am doing a series of posts about Achan in Joshua 7 and how his sin, though secret, was exposed and had serious consequences. I hope this series of lessons on “Secret Sin” will challenge us examine our hearts for secret sins and confess them to God. We have already looked at the lure, the consequences, and the exposure of secret sins. Today we are looking at the judgment of secret sin.
The Judgment of Secret Sin (Joshua 7:15)
In the Bible, there are two ways sin will be judged: 1) God’s Judgment or 2) Self Judgment. We will look at both types of judgment and give an example of each.
1. God’s Judgment – Example: Achan
The Bible says in Joshua 7:15, the person who had secret sin would be burnt with fire and all that he hath. Achan had broken his covenant (agreement) with the Lord and had done foolishly in Israel. He would not confess until he was pointed out and knew he was caught.
Achan confessed to the sin in Joshua 7:20, but it was the wrong kind of confession – a forced confession (7:19). This type of forced confession reminds me of what the Bible says of Esau in Hebrews 12:17, “For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” He was sorrowful but only because of the consequences.
Consequently, as a result of God’s judgment, Achan was stoned and burnt in the valley of Achor which means “troubled”. (7:24-26)
2. Self Judgment: Example – David
1 Corinthians 11:27-32 is a passage specifically talking about how to examine ourselves when we come to the Lord’s Table, but it teaches us generally the important of dealing with our sin properly. Verse 31 says, “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” This is self-judgment. It is judging ourselves and examing ourselves for sin so that God does not have to judge us.
The great example of this is David, who when convicted of his sin did not try to conceal but rather confessed it to God. The prayer of His confession is found in Psalm 51. In this Psalm, David asks for mercy and cleansing. He does not try to rationalise or justify his sin. He owns up to the wrong that He has done. He admits that he has hurt the heart of Almighty God. He requests purging and washing. He asks God to create in him a clean heart and to renew a right spirit. He desires for his joy to be restored. He begs to be delivered from guilt, and he promises to teach others the lesson he has learned. That is confession. That is self-judgment.
So, how do we judge ourselves?
- Let the Word of God search you. (Hebrews 4:12-15)
- Ask God to search you and show you where your sin is. (Psalm 139:23-24, 19:12)
- Confessing your sin and experience the cleansing and forgiveness God gives though the blood of Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:9)
- Forsake your sin. (Proverbs 28:13, Isaiah 55:7)
- Replace your sin with right thinking and right living. (Isaiah 55:7, Philippians 4:8)
- Fall in love with Jesus. (Revelation 2:4-5)