Acting on our diverted desire is truly an offense against our Holy God
So Joshua rose early in the morning and brought Israel near tribe by tribe, and the tribe of Judah was taken. 17 And he brought near the clans of Judah, and the clan of the Zerahites was taken. And he brought near the clan of the Zerahites man by man, and Zabdi was taken. 18 And he brought near his household man by man, and Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. 19 Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord God of Israel and give praise to him. And tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.” 20 And Achan answered Joshua, “Truly I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I did: 21 when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”
This weekend, Pastor Ryan reminded us of the good news. However, it’s nearly impossible to experience the joy of good news without contrasting it with incredibly bad news. The bad news is that “we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We all fall short. We all miss the mark. We all sin. And sin is no small thing. Every small offense goes directly against our Holy God. That’s why we’re all in dire need of some good news.
In Achan’s confession, he admits he truly sinned against the Lord God of Israel. He admits he was tempted by his own desire just like James describes, “each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1:14-15). Achan goes on to admit he gave into a diverted desire, coveted and took. He recognized his sin and confessed it before Joshua and the community in the presence of God.
Sin works the same way in our lives. We divert from desiring God and grow tempted by desiring many other things. Then, when we give into diverted desires regularly we develop sinful patterns – often overlooking the severity of our choice in the matter. Confession is the first step in experiencing the good news. When we recognize that acting on our diverted desire is truly an offense against our Holy God, we are one step closer to experiencing God’s mercy. We will never fully throw ourselves on God’s mercy unless we recognize just how much we need it. Today, allow God to search the innermost parts of your heart. Begin to identify the diverted desires of your heart – the ones enticing you to sin. Confess those diverted desires before God and throw yourself on his mercy!
O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger,
nor discipline me in your wrath!
2 For your arrows have sunk into me,
and your hand has come down on me.
3 There is no soundness in my flesh
because of your indignation;
there is no health in my bones
because of my sin.
4 For my iniquities have gone over my head;
like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.
5 My wounds stink and fester
because of my foolishness,
6 I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;
all the day I go about mourning.
7 For my sides are filled with burning,
and there is no soundness in my flesh.
8 I am feeble and crushed;
I groan because of the tumult of my heart.
9 O Lord, all my longing is before you;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart throbs; my strength fails me,
and the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.
11 My friends and companions stand aloof from my plague,
and my nearest kin stand far off.
12 Those who seek my life lay their snares;
those who seek my hurt speak of ruin
and meditate treachery all day long.
13 But I am like a deaf man; I do not hear,
like a mute man who does not open his mouth.
14 I have become like a man who does not hear,
and in whose mouth are no rebukes.
15 But for you, O Lord, do I wait;
it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
16 For I said, “Only let them not rejoice over me,
who boast against me when my foot slips!”
17 For I am ready to fall,
and my pain is ever before me.
18 I confess my iniquity;
I am sorry for my sin.
19 But my foes are vigorous, they are mighty,
and many are those who hate me wrongfully.
20 Those who render me evil for good
accuse me because I follow after good.
Do not forsake me, O Lord!
O my God, be not far from me!
22 Make haste to help me,
O Lord, my salvation!
– Psalm 38
By Yvonne Biel