Secret Sin is Never a Secret

Secret Sin is Never a Secret

There is not a single sin when it comes to the holiness of God that, done in isolation, doesn’t hurt others. Most importantly, all sin originating from the human heart is an affront to God’s holy and righteous character. The problem with secret sin is its sheer power over our lives.

Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: Then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. (Psalm 19:13-14)

There is nothing secret about secret sin when it comes to the all-seeing eyes of the Lord. The Scriptures are full of warnings against committing secret sin, thinking that private actions are not that serious or that they hurt no one else. One of the most distressing accounts in the Bible is the sin of Achan. In his heart he coveted and stole a beautiful Babylonian garment that God had forbidden him to take. The account is scary. No one knew about it, and Achan assumed he was getting away with what seemed to be a private matter as he buried Jericho’s plunder in the earth.

Achan’s secret sin made all of Israel liable to God’s judgment.

But God’s omniscient eyes saw everything and he would not advance Israel forward in the conquest of Canaan until the sin was dealt with. Yes, in a painful exposure, God held all of Israel accountable for the sin of Achan as he pulled the secret sins of his heart out for everyone to see and then exercised a righteous judgment. We shouldn’t miss this point, Achan’s secret sin made all of Israel liable to God’s judgment. Does anyone still think our private sin causes no one else harm, as we hear today?

The story of Achan is meant to trouble us, for who doesn’t have secret sin in their lives? It is meant for the reader to ask who can stand before the omniscient eyes of the Lord. Who has not coveted in his heart? Who refuses to forgive, from the heart? Who has not made a covenant with their eyes to look upon no worthless thing? Who is among us who has clean hands and a pure heart?

When God’s says, “Be sure your sin will find you out,” he is telling us that he will not allow his children to continue in willful, blatant, secret sin. And when Jesus condemned the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, he expressed that though their outward actions might receive the praise of people, “God knows their hearts.” This is a great problem for everyone.

The problem with secret sin is its sheer power over our lives.

The effect of Achan’s exposure must have caused great fear for Israel that day.

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