We live in such a materialistic world. We find that the worldly ways have even infiltrated the church. Many are so wrapped up with their toys, their social status, and their idols that they don’t even realized that they’ve fallen to into the grievous sin of idolatry.
Achan was a person whose sin got him into lots of trouble. In Joshua 6, we see where the Israelites overcame Jericho. There was a clear directive spoken by Joshua, advising the people not to take anything from the city, but to destroy everything, and bring any silver, gold, bronze, and iron into the treasury. Achan coveted and took some of the items and hid them. Achan thought that he could hide his sin.
God saw Achan’s sin, and his anger was aroused. This caused the Israelites to lose thirty-six of their men when they went up against Ai. The men of Ai also chased the Israelites from the city gate. (Josh. 7:4-5)
As Joshua got before the Lord, seeking to discover why Israel wasn’t successful against Ai, the Lord told him that there were some devoted things in the camp. God went on to tell Joshua that as long as the devoted things were in the Israelites camp, He was not going to be with them or bless them.
While Achan thought that he had hidden his sin, we see in verse 20 where Achan reaped the wages of his sin. Even when he admitted his sin, he was still put to death. Be sure your sin will find you out. (Num. 32:23)
In Genesis 31, we see where Rachel stole her father’s household idols. When Laban chases down Jacob and confronts him about the missing idols, Rachel tells him that she is having her period, so she can’t climb down from the camel and stand in his presence. She makes it sound as if she’s being spiritual because she is obeying the law of that time where a woman who is bleeding is not to touch another person. Obviously, they can’t check her to see if she is lying or not because if they do, then they are unclean. Her sin remains ‘hidden.’
I find it very interesting to note that only four chapters later, we see where Rachel dies in childbirth. She named her son Ben-Oni, which means ‘son of my trouble.’ I used to always view his name as having come from the difficulties she faced in childbirth. But was that really why she named him ‘son of my trouble’? Or, could it have been out of the guilt she carried for her sin of stealing her father’s gods, then lying about it?
While it appeared that Rachel’s sin was hidden, Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death. It looks to me like Rachel’s sin caught up with her to make it’s final payment.
We have all heard of stories where Christian people have fallen. They may have gotten involved in all kinds of ministries, but somewhere along the line, they began to covet, to lust, even idolizing their own calling from the Lord. They thought they could hide their sin, but pretty soon, it catches up with them.
Sisters, we can even fall prey to this very sin when we are called to be stay-at-home moms. We begin to be puffed up and proud of our accomplishments. Maybe we see that our children are much better behaved than the children of a mother who works away from home. We begin to look down upon this other mother, making unjust judgments about her. For those of us who homeschool, we may become haughty because we think that our method of homeschooling is the only way to go, leaving us judgmental of those who do it differently from us.
What about those of us who are very happily married? Do we ever begin to set our own marriages up as an idol? Do we go boasting about how great things are, as if we were the ones who did all the work to have this great marriage? When we forget that every good and perfect gift comes from God, we are in a dangerous place of setting up an idol. (Jas. 1:17)
Let’s not forget the other things which can easily become idols in our lives. What about reading many other things, but neglecting the Father? What about watching the television but never taking time to look into the Word to see what Father wants to show us? We can easily fall into idolatry with the amount of time we spend on our physical appearance.
We can even fall into idolatry when we are so consumed with the appearance of our children — always needing the latest fads or the name brand clothing for our children. We may even end up in debt because our idols have caused us to buy into the lie that we must only have the absolute best of everything.
While we may fool some people into thinking that we are still virtuous, godly women, we can’t fool ourselves. We know the emptiness that comes from serving false gods. We still feel that deep loss of wonderful joy and peace from having a clear conscience before God.
So, what do we do if we find ourselves in a trap of hiding idols? In II Cor. 7:10, we find that godly sorrow will bring repentance that leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. Let’s not be like the people in Hos. 7:14 who would cry and wail from their beds, yet they weren’t crying to God from their hearts.
Do you have any hidden idols? Get rid of them before they come, ready to collect on the payment that is due.
© 2004, Stacy R Miller