For the true Christian it is not enough to be saved from hell. We want to walk with God, to be close to God. But our sins disturb that intimacy, and may disturb our peace. We do not cease to be children of God – we can still pray ‘Our Father’ – but we are like children locked out, kept at a distance, the show of affection withdrawn. And so we pray ‘forgive us our sins’ as a much-loved child comes in sorrow to be drawn close by a loving parent. Mere forgiveness is not enough – we want forgiveness with kisses, forgiveness and our Father’s face.
~ Peter Lewis
For Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things; so the anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel.
~ Joshua 7:1 (NKJV)
The story of Achan is really a sad one. Here’s a man who was one of the Lord’s own people, who was experiencing the blessing and favor of God along with the rest of Israel in their inheriting the Promised Land and yet, he could not withstand temptation, succumbed to the sin of covetousness and brought ruin to himself and his whole household. Worse, he thought he could hide his sin from God.
We can’t hide our sin from God and we can’t escape the sometimes fatal consequences from our sin. Not only does sin often have earthly consequences that effects those around us, those we love, but has spiritual consequences as well. Sin separates us from God and the Lord Jesus. Unconfessed unrepentanted of sin, hidden sin, only brings trouble, hurt, sorrow, pain and guilt.
Yet, the Bible says if we will repent and confess our sins, that God will forgive us. God has forgiven us in Christ. We just need to acknowledge that. 1 John 1:9, states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. God sent Jesus to forgive us. And He desires for us to come to Him, sin and all, and allow Him to grant His touch of gracious spiritual healing and forgiveness.
In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ…~ Colossians 2:11 (NKJV)
Which [circumcision] is of the heart, in the spirit; every man… is uncircumcised in heart, until he is circumcised by Christ and his Spirit; which is done, when he is pricked to the heart, and thoroughly convinced of sin, and the exceeding sinfulness of it; when the callousness and hardness of his heart is taken off and removed, and the iniquity of it is laid open, the plague and corruption in it discerned, and all made naked and bare to the sinner’s view; when he is in pain on account of it, is broken and groans under a sense of it, and is filled with shame for it.
~ John Gill, Exposition of the Whole Bible
He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends.~ Proverbs 17:9 (NKJV)
Practically speaking, the Christian should always endeavor to lean towards love with regard to their fellow man. But this can be especially hard when we feel we’ve been slighted or wronged. Yet, it is at this particular point Scripture teaches us the wisdom of covering transgressions in love. And if we fail to do this, and insist on repeating a matter, and are unwilling to show mercy and forgiveness that true friends are separated. Therefore, let us as disciples of the Lord Jesus follow His example. Practice love, love that leans towards and covers even a multitude of sins.