Recently my two and half year old (Natalie) reminded me about the ‘sneakiness’ of sin. Sin is sneaky isn’t it? It begins so subtly. A desire arises within me. I allow it to linger. It presents a case. The desire matures to the status of a need like a tadpole making its transition to a frog. Having refused to kill the desire in my mind it begins to make demands. I move into the realm of rationalization. I should be given this thing, this want…No, I DESERVE it! Who cares about my diet, my health or my conscience…I DESERVE a chocolate covered donut! Might as well throw on the sprinkles. Why not make it a baker’s dozen while I’m at it? I slump out of Dunkin Donuts defeated, in shame and with more sticky on my buns then when I entered.
Sin is sneaky. You see this pattern over and over in scripture. Consider David in 2 Samuel 11. He sees Bathsheba bathing in the second verse and desire was aroused. Rather than killing the desire he sent and inquired about the woman in verse three. In the next verse he takes and lay with her. The transition in these three verses is rapid. David then spends the next 23 verses (and the rest of the chapter) trying to cover up his sin.
The sin of Achan takes a similar trajectory. Achan took some of the plunder of Jericho when God said it was all to be put into the treasury of the Lord. When explaining his sin in Joshua 7:20 he said that he saw silver, gold and a beautiful robe; he coveted them; he took them; and he hid them in his tent.
Sin is sneaky. It always takes us farther than we are willing to go and costs more than we are willing to pay. God told Cain that “sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” (Gen. 4:7) Good advice from a merciful God. We must master our sin. This means that we must be aware of our desires and kill them before they develop and mature into full-scaled rebellion against God.
Natalie is fully aware of her desires. She prefers ‘junk-snacks’ to healthy ones. (The ones her mom gives her.) She also knows where we keep the Nesquik. I assume her desire for chocolate led her to the pantry. She saw the bunny. She coveted the Quik. She took it. She devoured it. She hid under the table. She made a mess!
By the way, though God is merciful, He still judges sin. David’s son died. Achan and his entire family were stoned. Natalie’s life was spared, but she was punished nevertheless. We decided to … well, I’ll just let you guess.
May you master the sin that crouches at your door as you pursue God this week. May His Spirit empower you to victory. May you experience holiness in Christ, with which the pleasure of sin simply can’t compete. Natalie and I will be praying for you.